Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:22 pm

Part 1 of 2

T.S. Eliot
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/12/19



The tulkus were learning English and their lessons on the modern world with varying degrees of success. Freda's star student, Trungpa Rinpoche, however, was making exceptional progress, and Freda's aspirations for him became increasingly ambitious. He had a natural aptitude for English and had taken to reading the poets that Freda presented him with, especially T.S. Eliot. He was keen on history and geography too. Freda decided that he was ready to try to get into Oxford, her own university, where he would receive the finest education the West had to offer. With such credentials he would be perfectly equipped and have the clout to bring the sacred Buddhist teachings to the outside world in a language it could understand.

With the help of John Driver, an Englishman who was also tutoring Trungpa, Freda set about getting a Spalding Scholarship for Trungpa, and succeeded. In early 1963 Trungpa set sail for England accompanied by Akong Rinpoche, to enter into the arcane, privileged, and hallowed halls of Oxford University. It was another epic journey into the unknown, heralding as many adventures, pitfalls, and triumphs as they had met in their escape from Tibet.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

T. S. Eliot
Eliot in 1934
Born Thomas Stearns Eliot
26 September 1888
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died 4 January 1965 (aged 76)
Kensington, London, England
Occupation Poet, dramatist, literary critic, editor
Citizenship American (until 1927)
British (1927–1965)
Education AB in philosophy (Harvard, 1909)
PhD (cand) in philosophy (Harvard, 1915–16)[1]
Alma mater Harvard University
Merton College, Oxford
Period 1905–1965
Literary movement Modernism
Notable works "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), The Waste Land (1922), Four Quartets (1943), "Murder in the Cathedral" (1935)
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Literature (1948), Order of Merit (1948)
Spouse Vivienne Haigh-Wood
(m. 1915; sep. 1932)
Esmé Valerie Fletcher
(m. 1957–1965)

Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965), "one of the twentieth century's major poets" was also an essayist, publisher, playwright, and literary and social critic.[2] Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, he moved to England in 1914 at the age of 25, settling, working, and marrying there. He became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39, renouncing his American passport.[3]

Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), which was seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922), "The Hollow Men" (1925), "Ash Wednesday" (1930), and Four Quartets (1943).[4] He was also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry".[5][6]


Early life and education

The Eliots were a Boston Brahmin family with roots in Old and New England. Thomas Eliot's paternal grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri,[4][7] to establish a Unitarian Christian church there. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social worker, a new profession in the early 20th century.

Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born. Eliot was born at 2635 Locust Street, a property owned by his grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot.[8] His four sisters were between 11 and 19 years older; his brother was eight years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Stearns.

Eliot's childhood infatuation with literature can be ascribed to several factors. First, he had to overcome physical limitations as a child. Struggling from a congenital double inguinal hernia, he could not participate in many physical activities and thus was prevented from socializing with his peers. As he was often isolated, his love for literature developed. Once he learned to read, the young boy immediately became obsessed with books and was absorbed in tales depicting savages, the Wild West, or Mark Twain's thrill-seeking Tom Sawyer.[9] In his memoir of Eliot, his friend Robert Sencourt comments that the young Eliot "would often curl up in the window-seat behind an enormous book, setting the drug of dreams against the pain of living."[10] Secondly, Eliot credited his hometown with fuelling his literary vision: "It is self-evident that St. Louis affected me more deeply than any other environment has ever done. I feel that there is something in having passed one's childhood beside the big river, which is incommunicable to those people who have not. I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London."[11]

From 1898 to 1905, Eliot attended Smith Academy, where his studies included Latin, Ancient Greek, French, and German. He began to write poetry when he was fourteen under the influence of Edward Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a translation of the poetry of Omar Khayyam. He said the results were gloomy and despairing and he destroyed them.[12] His first published poem, "A Fable For Feasters", was written as a school exercise and was published in the Smith Academy Record in February 1905.[13] Also published there in April 1905 was his oldest surviving poem in manuscript, an untitled lyric, later revised and reprinted as "Song" in The Harvard Advocate, Harvard University's student magazine.[14] He also published three short stories in 1905, "Birds of Prey", "A Tale of a Whale" and "The Man Who Was King". The last mentioned story significantly reflects his exploration of the Igorot Village while visiting the 1904 World's Fair of St. Louis.[15][16][17] Such a link with primitive people importantly antedates his anthropological studies at Harvard.[18]

Eliot lived in St. Louis, Missouri for the first sixteen years of his life at the house on Locust St. where he was born. After going away to school in 1905, he only returned to St. Louis for vacations and visits. Despite moving away from the city, Eliot wrote to a friend that the "Missouri and the Mississippi have made a deeper impression on me than any other part of the world."[8]

Following graduation, Eliot attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts for a preparatory year, where he met Scofield Thayer who later published The Waste Land. He studied philosophy at Harvard College from 1906 to 1909, earning his bachelor's degree after three years, instead of the usual four.[4] While a student, Eliot was placed on academic probation and graduated with a pass degree (i.e. no honours). He recovered and persisted, attaining a B.A. in an elective program best described as comparative literature in three years, and an M.A. in English literature in the fourth.[2] Frank Kermode writes that the most important moment of Eliot's undergraduate career was in 1908 when he discovered Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature. This introduced him to Jules Laforgue, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine. Without Verlaine, Eliot wrote, he might never have heard of Tristan Corbière and his book Les amours jaunes, a work that affected the course of Eliot's life.[19] The Harvard Advocate published some of his poems and he became lifelong friends with Conrad Aiken, the American writer and critic.

Few have embodied the “haunted poet” bit better than French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891), an early pioneer of the Symbolism art movement, who helped lay the groundwork for Surrealism. He pulled that off by writing his major works in a five year stretch between the ages of 16 and 21. After finishing one of his major works, a collection known as Illuminations, Rimbaud quit writing altogether, and dove headfirst into a lifelong pursuit of sex, drink, drugs, and violence.

Done with poetry, a restless Rimbaud wandered through Europe, before sailing to the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), and spending the rest of life in a variety of pursuits all around the world. They included a stint as a Dutch colonial soldier in Sumatra; a cashier at a German circus; a stone quarry construction foreman; a coffee merchant in Yemen; and a mercenary and gun runner in Africa. He then capped off his restless life in fittingly romantic style, by dying young.

-- Arthur Rimbaud’s Roller Coaster Life, from Sensitive Poet to Mercenary and Arms Dealer, by Khalid Elhassan

After working as a philosophy assistant at Harvard from 1909 to 1910, Eliot moved to Paris where, from 1910 to 1911, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. He attended lectures by Henri Bergson and read poetry with Henri Alban-Fournier.[4][19] From 1911 to 1914, he was back at Harvard studying Indian philosophy and Sanskrit.[4][20] Eliot was awarded a scholarship to Merton College, Oxford, in 1914. He first visited Marburg, Germany, where he planned to take a summer programme, but when the First World War broke out he went to Oxford instead. At the time so many American students attended Merton that the Junior Common Room proposed a motion "that this society abhors the Americanization of Oxford". It was defeated by two votes, after Eliot reminded the students how much they owed American culture.[21]

Eliot wrote to Conrad Aiken on New Year's Eve 1914: "I hate university towns and university people, who are the same everywhere, with pregnant wives, sprawling children, many books and hideous pictures on the walls ... Oxford is very pretty, but I don't like to be dead."[21] Escaping Oxford, Eliot spent much of his time in London. This city had a monumental and life-altering effect on Eliot for several reasons, the most significant of which was his introduction to the influential American literary figure Ezra Pound. A connection through Aiken resulted in an arranged meeting and on 22 September 1914, Eliot paid a visit to Pound's flat. Pound instantly deemed Eliot "worth watching" and was crucial to Eliot's beginning career as a poet, as he is credited with promoting Eliot through social events and literary gatherings. Thus, according to biographer John Worthen, during his time in England Eliot "was seeing as little of Oxford as possible". He was instead spending long periods of time in London, in the company of Ezra Pound and "some of the modern artists whom the war has so far spared... It was Pound who helped most, introducing him everywhere."[22] In the end, Eliot did not settle at Merton and left after a year. In 1915 he taught English at Birkbeck, University of London.

Between 1908 and 1914 The New Age was the premier little magazine in Britain. It was instrumental in pioneering the British avant-garde, from vorticism to imagism, and its contributors included T.E. Hulme, Wyndham Lewis, Katherine Mansfield, Ezra Pound and Herbert Read. Orage's success as an editor was connected with his talent as a conversationalist and a ″bringer together″ of people. The modernists of London had been scattered between 1905 and 1910, but largely thanks to Orage a sense of a modernist ″movement″ was created from 1910 onwards.[8]

-- Alfred Richard Orage, by Wikipedia

By 1916, he had completed a doctoral dissertation for Harvard on "Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F. H. Bradley", but he failed to return for the viva voce exam.[4][23]


Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot, passport photograph from 1920.

In a letter to Aiken late in December 1914, Eliot, aged 26, wrote, "I am very dependent upon women (I mean female society)."[24] Less than four months later, Thayer introduced Eliot to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, a Cambridge governess. They were married at Hampstead Register Office on 26 June 1915.[25]

After a short visit alone to his family in the United States, Eliot returned to London and took several teaching jobs, such as lecturing at Birkbeck College, University of London. The philosopher Bertrand Russell took an interest in Vivienne while the newlyweds stayed in his flat. Some scholars have suggested that she and Russell had an affair, but the allegations were never confirmed.[26]

The marriage was markedly unhappy, in part because of Vivienne's health issues. In a letter addressed to Ezra Pound, she covers an extensive list of her symptoms, which included a habitually high temperature, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, and colitis.[27] This, coupled with apparent mental instability, meant that she was often sent away by Eliot and her doctors for extended periods of time in the hope of improving her health, and as time went on, he became increasingly detached from her. The couple formally separated in 1933 and in 1938 Vivienne's brother, Maurice, had her committed to a mental hospital, against her will, where she remained until her death of heart disease in 1947. Their relationship became the subject of a 1984 play Tom & Viv, which in 1994 was adapted as a film of the same name.

In a private paper written in his sixties, Eliot confessed: "I came to persuade myself that I was in love with Vivienne simply because I wanted to burn my boats and commit myself to staying in England. And she persuaded herself (also under the influence of [Ezra] Pound) that she would save the poet by keeping him in England. To her, the marriage brought no happiness. To me, it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land."[28]

Teaching, Lloyds, Faber and Faber

A plaque at SOAS's Faber Building, 24 Russell Square, London

After leaving Merton, Eliot worked as a schoolteacher, most notably at Highgate School, a private school in London, where he taught French and Latin—his students included the young John Betjeman.[4] Later he taught at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, a state school in Buckinghamshire. To earn extra money, he wrote book reviews and lectured at evening extension courses at the University College London, and Oxford. In 1917, he took a position at Lloyds Bank in London, working on foreign accounts. On a trip to Paris in August 1920 with the artist Wyndham Lewis, he met the writer James Joyce. Eliot said he found Joyce arrogant—Joyce doubted Eliot's ability as a poet at the time—but the two soon became friends, with Eliot visiting Joyce whenever he was in Paris.[29] Eliot and Wyndham Lewis also maintained a close friendship, leading to Lewis's later making his well-known portrait painting of Eliot in 1938.

—I'm the queerest young fellow that ever you heard.
My mother's a jew, my father's a bird.
With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree.
So here's to disciples and Calvary....

—Of course I'm a Britisher, Haines's voice said, and I feel as one. I don't want to see my country fall into the hands of German jews either. That's our national problem, I'm afraid, just now....

—Mark my words, Mr. Dedalus, he said. England is in the hands of the jews. In all the highest places: her finance, her press. And they are the signs of a nation's decay. Wherever they gather they eat up the nation's vital strength. I have seen it coming these years. As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying....

—I just wanted to say, he said. Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the jews. Do you know that? No. And do you know why?

He frowned sternly on the bright air.

—Why, sir? Stephen asked, beginning to smile.

—Because she never let them in, Mr. Deasy said solemnly.

A coughball of laughter leaped from his throat dragging after it a rattling chain of phlegm. He turned back quickly, coughing, laughing, his lifted arms waving to the air.

—She never let them in, he cried again through his laughter as he stamped on gaitered feet over the gravel of the path. That's why.

On his wise shoulders through the checkerwork of leaves the sun flung spangles, dancing coins....

—What was their civilisation? Vast, I allow: but vile. Cloacae: sewers. The Jews in the wilderness and on the mountaintop said: It is meet to be here. Let us build an altar to Jehovah. The Roman, like the Englishman who follows in his footsteps, brought to every new shore on which he set his foot (on our shore he never set it) only his cloacal obsession. He gazed about him in his toga and he said: It is meet to be here. Let us construct a watercloset.

—Which they accordingly did do, Lenehan said. Our old ancient ancestors, as we read in the first chapter of Guinness's, were partial to the running stream.

—They were nature's gentlemen, J. J. O'Molloy murmured. But we have also Roman law.

—And Pontius Pilate is its prophet, professor MacHugh responded....


It was revealed to me that those things are good which yet are corrupted which neither if they were supremely good nor unless they were good could be corrupted. Ah, curse you! That's saint Augustine.

—Why will you jews not accept our culture, our religion and our language? You are a tribe of nomad herdsmen: we are a mighty people. You have no cities nor no wealth: our cities are hives of humanity and our galleys, trireme and quadrireme, laden with all manner merchandise furrow the waters of the known globe. You have but emerged from primitive conditions: we have a literature, a priesthood, an agelong history and a polity.


Child, man, effigy.

By the Nilebank the babemaries kneel, cradle of bulrushes: a man supple in combat: stonehorned, stonebearded, heart of stone.

—You pray to a local and obscure idol: our temples, majestic and mysterious, are the abodes of Isis and Osiris, of Horus and Ammon Ra. Yours serfdom, awe and humbleness: ours thunder and the seas. Israel is weak and few are her children: Egypt is an host and terrible are her arms. Vagrants and daylabourers are you called: the world trembles at our name.

A dumb belch of hunger cleft his speech. He lifted his voice above it boldly:

—But, ladies and gentlemen, had the youthful Moses listened to and accepted that view of life, had he bowed his head and bowed his will and bowed his spirit before that arrogant admonition he would never have brought the chosen people out of their house of bondage, nor followed the pillar of the cloud by day. He would never have spoken with the Eternal amid lightnings on Sinai's mountaintop nor ever have come down with the light of inspiration shining in his countenance and bearing in his arms the tables of the law, graven in the language of the outlaw.

He ceased and looked at them, enjoying a silence.


Mr. Bloom turned at Gray's confectioner's window of unbought tarts and passed the reverend Thomas Connellan's bookstore. Why I left the church of Rome? Birds' Nest. Women run him. They say they used to give pauper children soup to change to protestants in the time of the potato blight. Society over the way papa went to for the conversion of poor jews. Same bait. Why we left the church of Rome.....

Sir Frederick Falkiner going into the freemasons' hall. Solemn as Troy. After his good lunch in Earlsfort terrace. Old legal cronies cracking a magnum. Tales of the bench and assizes and annals of the bluecoat school. I sentenced him to ten years. I suppose he'd turn up his nose at that stuff I drank. Vintage wine for them, the year marked on a dusty bottle. Has his own ideas of justice in the recorder's court. Wellmeaning old man. Police chargesheets crammed with cases get their percentage manufacturing crime. Sends them to the rightabout. The devil on moneylenders. Gave Reuben J. a great strawcalling. Now he's really what they call a dirty jew. Power those judges have. Crusty old topers in wigs. Bear with a sore paw. And may the Lord have mercy on your soul.....

—And the sense of property, Stephen said. He drew Shylock out of his own long pocket. The son of a maltjobber and moneylender he was himself a cornjobber and moneylender, with ten tods of corn hoarded in the famine riots. His borrowers are no doubt those divers of worship mentioned by Chettle Falstaff who reported his uprightness of dealing. He sued a fellowplayer for the price of a few bags of malt and exacted his pound of flesh in interest for every money lent. How else could Aubrey's ostler and callboy get rich quick? All events brought grist to his mill. Shylock chimes with the jewbaiting that followed the hanging and quartering of the queen's leech Lopez, his jew's heart being plucked forth while the sheeny was yet alive: Hamlet and Macbeth with the coming to the throne of a Scotch philosophaster with a turn for witchroasting. The lost armada is his jeer in Love's Labour Lost. His pageants, the histories, sail fullbellied on a tide of Mafeking enthusiasm. Warwickshire jesuits are tried and we have a porter's theory of equivocation. The Sea Venture comes home from Bermudas and the play Renan admired is written with Patsy Caliban, our American cousin. The sugared sonnets follow Sidney's. As for fay Elizabeth, otherwise carrotty Bess, the gross virgin who inspired The Merry Wives of Windsor, let some meinherr from Almany grope his life long for deephid meanings in the depths of the buckbasket.

I think you're getting on very nicely. Just mix up a mixture of theolologicophilolological. Mingo, minxi, mictum, mingere.

—Prove that he was a jew, John Eglinton dared,'expectantly. Your dean of studies holds he was a holy Roman.
Sufflaminandus sum.

—He was made in Germany, Stephen replied, as the champion French polisher of Italian scandals.

-- Ulysses, by James Joyce

Charles Whibley recommended T.S. Eliot to Geoffrey Faber.[30] In 1925 Eliot left Lloyds to become a director in the publishing firm Faber and Gwyer, later Faber and Faber, where he remained for the rest of his career.[[31][32] At Faber and Faber, he was responsible for publishing important English poets like W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and Ted Hughes.[33]

Conversion to Anglicanism and British citizenship

The Faber and Faber building where Eliot worked from 1925 to 1965; the commemorative plaque is under the right-hand arch.

On 29 June 1927, Eliot converted to Anglicanism from Unitarianism, and in November that year he took British citizenship. He became a warden of his parish church, St Stephen's, Gloucester Road, London, and a life member of the Society of King Charles the Martyr.[34][35] He specifically identified as Anglo-Catholic, proclaiming himself "classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic [sic] in religion".[36][37] About 30 years later Eliot commented on his religious views that he combined "a Catholic cast of mind, a Calvinist heritage, and a Puritanical temperament".[38] He also had wider spiritual interests, commenting that "I see the path of progress for modern man in his occupation with his own self, with his inner being" and citing Goethe and Rudolf Steiner as exemplars of such a direction.[39]

The Society of King Charles the Martyr is an Anglican devotional society dedicated to the cult of King Charles the Martyr, a title of Charles I of England (1600–1649).[1] It is a member of the Catholic Societies of the Church of England, an Anglo-Catholic umbrella group. It is also active in the Scottish Episcopal Church and North America, and has international members elsewhere....

The Society of King Charles the Martyr was founded in 1894 with the stated purpose of "intercessory prayer for the defence of the Church of England against the attacks of her enemies." Since then, the objectives have extended to religious devotion in keeping with the traditions of Anglo-Catholicism.

-- Society of King Charles the Martyr by Wikipedia

One of Eliot's biographers, Peter Ackroyd, commented that "the purposes of [Eliot's conversion] were two-fold. One: the Church of England offered Eliot some hope for himself, and I think Eliot needed some resting place. But secondly, it attached Eliot to the English community and English culture."[33]

Separation and remarriage

By 1932, Eliot had been contemplating a separation from his wife for some time. When Harvard offered him the Charles Eliot Norton professorship for the 1932–1933 academic year, he accepted and left Vivienne in England. Upon his return, he arranged for a formal separation from her, avoiding all but one meeting with her between his leaving for America in 1932 and her death in 1947. Vivienne was committed to the Northumberland House mental hospital, Stoke Newington, in 1938, and remained there until she died. Although Eliot was still legally her husband, he never visited her.[40]

From 1938 to 1957 Eliot's public companion was Mary Trevelyan of London University, who wanted to marry him and left a detailed memoir.[41][42][43]

Mary Trevelyan was born on 22 January 1897, the daughter of the Reverend George Philip Trevelyan (1858–1937) and Monica Evelyn Juliet Phillips. She was educated at Grovely College Boscombe and the Royal College of Music, London.[2] She was founder and Governor of the International Students' House, London, Warden Student Movement House, first Advisor to Overseas Students London U 1949–65 in 1932. In the New Year Honours 1956 Trevelyan was appointed an Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire[3] and on 31 May 1968 was promoted to Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.[4] Trevelyan was appointed organist and choir trainer at St Barnabas, Oxford. She later joined the music staff at Radley and Marlborough Colleges.

Student Movement House (SMH): She returned to Britain in 1932, after a private tour of India and Ceylon and began to look for a job. She had intended to return to a musical profession but began to wonder if she could help groups of Indian students she noticed on the streets 'looking lost in the wintry rain'. From 1932 to 1946, Mary Trevelyan was the warden of Student Movement House, first on Russell Square then nearby at Gower Street,[5] and it was there that she conceived and developed the interest in students from overseas to which virtually the rest of her life was to be devoted. In 1936 and 1937 she travelled extensively to investigate the problems encountered by students from Far Eastern countries returning home from Europe and America. She also visited the International Houses of the USA. The journey convinced her of the need for a similar organisation in London as the overseas student population continued to grow. By the beginning of 1942, membership of SMH had increased to a total of 1,183 and by 1944 to 1,200 from 54 countries.

In 1944, after nearly 12 years as Warden of the House, Mary felt the need for a break and resigned from her position. Mary went on to work with the YMCA in France and in 1945 she spent her time organising a reception centre for returning prisoners of war, outside Brussels. From 1946 to 1948 she accepted an invitation to become Head of the Field survey bureau in the UNESCO Department of Reconstruction in Paris. She spent part of this time visiting and making surveys on priority needs in education after the war in Burma, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, North Borneo and the Philippines.

From 1938 to 1957 she was friend and companion of T. S. Eliot.[6] Trevelyan wanted to marry him, and left a detailed memoir.[7][8]

-- Mary Trevelyan, by Wikipedia

From 1946 to 1957, Eliot shared a flat at 19 Carlyle Mansions, Chelsea, with his friend John Davy Hayward, who collected and managed Eliot's papers, styling himself "Keeper of the Eliot Archive".[44][45] Hayward also collected Eliot's pre-Prufrock verse, commercially published after Eliot's death as Poems Written in Early Youth. When Eliot and Hayward separated their household in 1957, Hayward retained his collection of Eliot's papers, which he bequeathed to King's College, Cambridge, in 1965.

On 10 January 1957, at the age of 68, Eliot married Esmé Valerie Fletcher, who was 30. In contrast to his first marriage, Eliot knew Fletcher well, as she had been his secretary at Faber and Faber since August 1949. They kept their wedding secret; the ceremony was held in a church at 6:15 am with virtually no one in attendance other than his wife's parents. Eliot had no children with either of his wives. In the early 1960s, by then in failing health, Eliot worked as an editor for the Wesleyan University Press, seeking new poets in Europe for publication. After Eliot's death, Valerie dedicated her time to preserving his legacy, by editing and annotating The Letters of T. S. Eliot and a facsimile of the draft of The Waste Land.[46] Valerie Eliot died on 9 November 2012 at her home in London.[47]

Death and honours

Blue plaque, 3 Kensington Court Gardens, Kensington, London, home from 1957 until his death in 1965

Eliot died of emphysema at his home in Kensington in London, on 4 January 1965,[48] and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.[49] In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were taken to St Michael and All Angels' Church, East Coker, the village in Somerset from which his Eliot ancestors had emigrated to America.[50] A wall plaque in the church commemorates him with a quotation from his poem East Coker: "In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."[51]

In 1967, on the second anniversary of his death, Eliot was commemorated by the placement of a large stone in the floor of Poets' Corner in London's Westminster Abbey. The stone, cut by designer Reynolds Stone, is inscribed with his life dates, his Order of Merit, and a quotation from his poem Little Gidding, "the communication / of the dead is tongued with fire beyond / the language of the living."[52]

The apartment block where he died, No. 3 Kensington Court Gardens, has had a blue plaque on it since 1986.[53]


For a poet of his stature, Eliot produced a relatively small number of poems. He was aware of this even early in his career. He wrote to J.H. Woods, one of his former Harvard professors, "My reputation in London is built upon one small volume of verse, and is kept up by printing two or three more poems in a year. The only thing that matters is that these should be perfect in their kind, so that each should be an event."[54]

Typically, Eliot first published his poems individually in periodicals or in small books or pamphlets, and then collected them in books. His first collection was Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). In 1920, he published more poems in Ara Vos Prec (London) and Poems: 1920 (New York). These had the same poems (in a different order) except that "Ode" in the British edition was replaced with "Hysteria" in the American edition. In 1925, he collected The Waste Land and the poems in Prufrock and Poems into one volume and added The Hollow Men to form Poems: 1909–1925. From then on, he updated this work as Collected Poems. Exceptions are Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), a collection of light verse; Poems Written in Early Youth, posthumously published in 1967 and consisting mainly of poems published between 1907 and 1910 in The Harvard Advocate, and Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917, material Eliot never intended to have published, which appeared posthumously in 1997.[55]

During an interview in 1959, Eliot said of his nationality and its role in his work: "I'd say that my poetry has obviously more in common with my distinguished contemporaries in America than with anything written in my generation in England. That I'm sure of. ... It wouldn't be what it is, and I imagine it wouldn't be so good; putting it as modestly as I can, it wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America. It's a combination of things. But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America."[56]

Cleo McNelly Kearns notes in her biography that Eliot was deeply influenced by Indic traditions, notably the Upanishads. From the Sanskrit ending of The Waste Land to the "What Krishna meant" section of Four Quartets shows how much Indic religions and more specifically Hinduism made up his philosophical basic for his thought process.[57] It must also be acknowledged, as Chinmoy Guha showed in his book Where the Dreams Cross: T S Eliot and French Poetry (Macmillan, 2011) that he was deeply influenced by French poets from Baudelaire to Paul Valéry. He himself wrote in his 1940 essay on W.B. Yeats: "The kind of poetry that I needed to teach me the use of my own voice did not exist in English at all; it was only to be found in French." ("Yeats," On Poetry and Poets, 1948).

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

In 1915, Ezra Pound, overseas editor of Poetry magazine, recommended to Harriet Monroe, the magazine's founder, that she publish "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".[58] Although the character Prufrock seems to be middle-aged, Eliot wrote most of the poem when he was only twenty-two. Its now-famous opening lines, comparing the evening sky to "a patient etherised upon a table", were considered shocking and offensive, especially at a time when Georgian Poetry was hailed for its derivations of the nineteenth century Romantic Poets.[59]

The poem's structure was heavily influenced by Eliot's extensive reading of Dante and refers to a number of literary works, including Hamlet and those of the French Symbolists. Its reception in London can be gauged from an unsigned review in The Times Literary Supplement on 21 June 1917. "The fact that these things occurred to the mind of Mr. Eliot is surely of the very smallest importance to anyone, even to himself. They certainly have no relation to poetry."[60]

The Waste Land

T. S. Eliot in 1923, by Lady Ottoline Morrell

In October 1922, Eliot published The Waste Land in The Criterion. Eliot's dedication to il miglior fabbro ("the better craftsman") refers to Ezra Pound's significant hand in editing and reshaping the poem from a longer Eliot manuscript to the shortened version that appears in publication.[61]

It was composed during a period of personal difficulty for Eliot—his marriage was failing, and both he and Vivienne were suffering from nervous disorders. The poem is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation. Before the poem's publication as a book in December 1922, Eliot distanced himself from its vision of despair. On 15 November 1922, he wrote to Richard Aldington, saying, "As for The Waste Land, that is a thing of the past so far as I am concerned and I am now feeling toward a new form and style."[62]

The poem is known for its obscure nature—its slippage between satire and prophecy; its abrupt changes of speaker, location, and time. This structural complexity is one of the reasons why the poem has become a touchstone of modern literature, a poetic counterpart to a novel published in the same year, James Joyce's Ulysses.[63]

Among its best-known phrases are "April is the cruellest month", "I will show you fear in a handful of dust" and "Shantih shantih shantih". The Sanskrit mantra ends the poem.

The Waste Land

I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: “Stetson!
“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
“You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

II. A Game of Chess

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carvéd dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

“My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
“Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

“What is that noise?”
The wind under the door.
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”
Nothing again nothing.
“You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember

I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
“I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
“With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
“What shall we ever do?”
The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said—
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
The chemist said it would be all right, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. The Fire Sermon

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water
Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.

Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

“This music crept by me upon the waters”
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

The river sweats
Oil and tar
The barges drift
With the turning tide
Red sails
To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
The barges wash
Drifting logs
Down Greenwich reach
Past the Isle of Dogs.
Weialala leia
Wallala leialala

Elizabeth and Leicester
Beating oars
The stern was formed
A gilded shell
Red and gold
The brisk swell
Rippled both shores
Southwest wind
Carried down stream
The peal of bells
White towers
Weialala leia
Wallala leialala

“Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.”

“My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised a ‘new start.’
I made no comment. What should I resent?”

“On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect
la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest


IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. What the Thunder Said

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam uti chelidon—O swallow swallow
Le Prince d’Aquitaine à la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih
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Part 2 of 2

The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men appeared in 1925. For the critic Edmund Wilson, it marked "The nadir of the phase of despair and desolation given such effective expression in The Waste Land."[64] It is Eliot's major poem of the late 1920s. Similar to Eliot's other works, its themes are overlapping and fragmentary. Post-war Europe under the Treaty of Versailles (which Eliot despised), the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, Eliot's failed marriage.[65]

Allen Tate perceived a shift in Eliot's method, writing, "The mythologies disappear altogether in The Hollow Men." This is a striking claim for a poem as indebted to Dante as anything else in Eliot's early work, to say little of the modern English mythology—the "Old Guy Fawkes" of the Gunpowder Plot—or the colonial and agrarian mythos of Joseph Conrad and James George Frazer, which, at least for reasons of textual history, echo in The Waste Land.[66] The "continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity" that is so characteristic of his mythical method remained in fine form.[67] The Hollow Men contains some of Eliot's most famous lines, notably its conclusion:

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


Ash-Wednesday is the first long poem written by Eliot after his 1927 conversion to Anglicanism. Published in 1930, it deals with the struggle that ensues when one who has lacked faith acquires it. Sometimes referred to as Eliot's "conversion poem", it is richly but ambiguously allusive, and deals with the aspiration to move from spiritual barrenness to hope for human salvation. Eliot's style of writing in Ash-Wednesday showed a marked shift from the poetry he had written prior to his 1927 conversion, and his post-conversion style continued in a similar vein. His style became less ironic, and the poems were no longer populated by multiple characters in dialogue. Eliot's subject matter also became more focused on his spiritual concerns and his Christian faith.[68]

Many critics were particularly enthusiastic about Ash-Wednesday. Edwin Muir maintained that it is one of the most moving poems Eliot wrote, and perhaps the "most perfect", though it was not well received by everyone. The poem's groundwork of orthodox Christianity discomfited many of the more secular literati.[4][69]

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

In 1939, Eliot published a book of light verse, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats ("Old Possum" was Ezra Pound's nickname for him). This first edition had an illustration of the author on the cover. In 1954, the composer Alan Rawsthorne set six of the poems for speaker and orchestra in a work titled Practical Cats. After Eliot's death, the book was adapted as the basis of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, first produced in London's West End in 1981 and opening on Broadway the following year.[70]

Four Quartets

Eliot regarded Four Quartets as his masterpiece, and it is the work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.[4] It consists of four long poems, each first published separately: Burnt Norton (1936), East Coker (1940), The Dry Salvages (1941) and Little Gidding (1942). Each has five sections. Although they resist easy characterisation, each poem includes meditations on the nature of time in some important respect—theological, historical, physical—and its relation to the human condition. Each poem is associated with one of the four classical elements, respectively: air, earth, water, and fire.

Burnt Norton is a meditative poem that begins with the narrator trying to focus on the present moment while walking through a garden, focusing on images and sounds like the bird, the roses, clouds, and an empty pool. The narrator's meditation leads him/her to reach "the still point" in which he doesn't try to get anywhere or to experience place and/or time, instead experiencing "a grace of sense". In the final section, the narrator contemplates the arts ("Words" and "music") as they relate to time. The narrator focuses particularly on the poet's art of manipulating "Words [which] strain, / Crack and sometimes break, under the burden [of time], under the tension, slip, slide, perish, decay with imprecision, [and] will not stay in place, / Will not stay still." By comparison, the narrator concludes that "Love is itself unmoving, / Only the cause and end of movement, / Timeless, and undesiring."

East Coker continues the examination of time and meaning, focusing in a famous passage on the nature of language and poetry. Out of darkness, Eliot offers a solution: "I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope."

The Dry Salvages treats the element of water, via images of river and sea. It strives to contain opposites: "The past and future / Are conquered, and reconciled."

Little Gidding (the element of fire) is the most anthologised of the Quartets. Eliot's experiences as an air raid warden in the Blitz power the poem, and he imagines meeting Dante during the German bombing. The beginning of the Quartets ("Houses / Are removed, destroyed") had become a violent everyday experience; this creates an animation, where for the first time he talks of Love as the driving force behind all experience. From this background, the Quartets end with an affirmation of Julian of Norwich: "All shall be well and / All manner of thing shall be well."

The Four Quartets cannot be understood without reference to Christian thought, traditions, and history. Eliot draws upon the theology, art, symbolism and language of such figures as Dante, and mystics St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich. The "deeper communion" sought in East Coker, the "hints and whispers of children, the sickness that must grow worse in order to find healing", and the exploration which inevitably leads us home all point to the pilgrim's path along the road of sanctification.

Since these proficients are still at a very low stage of progress, and follow their own nature closely in the intercourse and dealings which they have with God, because the gold of their spirit is not yet purified and refined, they still think of God as little children, and speak of God as little children, and feel and experience God as little children, even as Saint Paul says, because they have not reached perfection, which is the union of the soul with God. In the state of union, however, they will work great things in the spirit, even as grown men, and their works and faculties will then be Divine rather than human, as will afterwards be said. To this end God is pleased to strip them of this old man and clothe them with the new man, who is created according to God, as the Apostle says, in the newness of sense. He strips their faculties, affections and feelings, both spiritual and sensual, both outward and inward, leaving the understanding dark, the will dry, the memory empty and the affections in the deepest affliction, bitterness and constraint, taking from the soul the pleasure and experience of spiritual blessings which it had aforetime, in order to make of this privation one of the principles which are requisite in the spirit so that there may be introduced into it and united with it the spiritual form of the spirit, which is the union of love. All this the Lord works in the soul by means of a pure and dark contemplation, as the soul explains in the first stanza.

As a result of this, the soul feels itself to be perishing and melting away, in the presence and sight of its miseries, in a cruel spiritual death, even as if it had been swallowed by a beast and felt itself being devoured in the darkness of its belly, suffering such anguish as was endured by Jonas in the belly of that beast of the sea. For in this sepulchre of dark death it must needs abide until the spiritual resurrection which it hopes for.

This was also described by Job, who had had experience and, in these words: 'I, who was wont to be wealthy and rich, am suddenly undone and broken to pieces; He hath taken me by my neck; He hath broken me and set me up for His mark to wound me; He hath compassed me round about with His lances; He hath wounded all my loins; He hath not spared; He hath poured out my bowels on the earth; He hath broken me with wound upon wound; He hath assailed me as a strong giant; I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin and have covered my flesh with ashes; my face is become swollen with weeping and mine eyes are blinded.'

But there is another thing here that afflicts and distresses the soul greatly, which is that, as this dark night has hindered its faculties and affections in this way, it is unable to raise its affection or its mind to God, neither can it pray to Him, thinking, as Jeremias thought concerning himself, that God has set a cloud before it through which its prayer cannot pass. For it is this that is meant by that which is said in the passage referred to, namely: 'He hath shut and enclosed my paths with square stones.' And if it sometimes prays it does so with such lack of strength and of sweetness that it thinks that God neither hears it nor pays heed to it, as this Prophet likewise declares in the same passage, saying: 'When I cry and entreat, He hath shut out my prayer.' In truth this is no time for the soul to speak with God; it should rather put its mouth in the dust, as Jeremias says, so that perchance there may come to it some present hope, and it may endure its purgation with patience. It is God who is passively working here in the soul; wherefore the soul can do nothing.

Until the Lord shall have completely purged it after the manner that He wills, no means or remedy is of any service or profit for the relief of its affliction; the more so because the soul is as powerless in this case as one who has been imprisoned in a dark dungeon, and is bound hand and foot, and can neither move nor see, nor feel any favour whether from above or from below, until the spirit is humbled, softened and purified, and grows so keen and delicate and pure that it can become one with the Spirit of God, according to the degree of union of love which His mercy is pleased to grant it; in proportion to this the purgation is of greater or less severity and of greater or less duration.

Inasmuch as not only is the understanding here purged of its light, and the will of its affections, but the memory is also purged of meditation and knowledge, it is well that it be likewise annihilated with respect to all these things, so that that which David says of himself in this purgation may by fulfilled, namely: 'I was annihilated and I knew not.' For, in order that the soul may be divinely prepared and tempered with its faculties for the Divine union of love, it would be well for it to be first of all absorbed, with all its faculties, in this Divine and dark spiritual light of contemplation, and thus to be withdrawn from all the affections and apprehensions of the creatures, which condition ordinarily continues in proportion to its intensity. And thus, the simpler and the purer is this Divine light in its assault upon the soul, the more does it darken it, void it and annihilate it according to its particular apprehensions and affections, with regard both to things above and to things below.

And this is the characteristic of the spirit that is purged and annihilated with respect to all particular affections and objects of the understanding, that in this state wherein it has pleasure in nothing and understands nothing in particular, but dwells in its emptiness, darkness and obscurity, it is fully prepared to embrace everything to the end that those words of Saint Paul may be fulfilled in it: Nihil habentes, et omnia possidentes. [Google translate: Having nothing, and yet possessing all things.] For such poverty of spirit as this would deserve such happiness.

-- Dark Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross


With the important exception of Four Quartets, Eliot directed much of his creative energies after Ash Wednesday to writing plays in verse, mostly comedies or plays with redemptive endings. He was long a critic and admirer of Elizabethan and Jacobean verse drama; witness his allusions to Webster, Thomas Middleton, William Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd in The Waste Land. In a 1933 lecture he said "Every poet would like, I fancy, to be able to think that he had some direct social utility . . . . He would like to be something of a popular entertainer, and be able to think his own thoughts behind a tragic or a comic mask. He would like to convey the pleasures of poetry, not only to a larger audience, but to larger groups of people collectively; and the theatre is the best place in which to do it."[71]

After The Waste Land (1922), he wrote that he was "now feeling toward a new form and style". One project he had in mind was writing a play in verse, using some of the rhythms of early jazz. The play featured "Sweeney", a character who had appeared in a number of his poems. Although Eliot did not finish the play, he did publish two scenes from the piece. These scenes, titled Fragment of a Prologue (1926) and Fragment of an Agon (1927), were published together in 1932 as Sweeney Agonistes. Although Eliot noted that this was not intended to be a one-act play, it is sometimes performed as one.[13]

A pageant play by Eliot called The Rock was performed in 1934 for the benefit of churches in the Diocese of London. Much of it was a collaborative effort; Eliot accepted credit only for the authorship of one scene and the choruses.[13] George Bell, the Bishop of Chichester, had been instrumental in connecting Eliot with producer E. Martin Browne for the production of The Rock, and later commissioned Eliot to write another play for the Canterbury Festival in 1935. This one, Murder in the Cathedral, concerning the death of the martyr, Thomas Becket, was more under Eliot's control. Eliot biographer Peter Ackroyd comments that "for [Eliot], Murder in the Cathedral and succeeding verse plays offered a double advantage; it allowed him to practice poetry but it also offered a convenient home for his religious sensibility."[33] After this, he worked on more "commercial" plays for more general audiences: The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk, (1953) and The Elder Statesman (1958) (the latter three were produced by Henry Sherek and directed by E. Martin Browne[72]). The Broadway production in New York of The Cocktail Party received the 1950 Tony Award for Best Play. Eliot wrote The Cocktail Party while he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study.[73][74]

Regarding his method of playwriting, Eliot explained, "If I set out to write a play, I start by an act of choice. I settle upon a particular emotional situation, out of which characters and a plot will emerge. And then lines of poetry may come into being: not from the original impulse but from a secondary stimulation of the unconscious mind."[33]

Literary criticism

Eliot also made significant contributions to the field of literary criticism, strongly influencing the school of New Criticism. He was somewhat self-deprecating and minimising of his work and once said his criticism was merely a "by-product" of his "private poetry-workshop" But the critic William Empson once said, "I do not know for certain how much of my own mind [Eliot] invented, let alone how much of it is a reaction against him or indeed a consequence of misreading him. He is a very penetrating influence, perhaps not unlike the east wind."[75]

In his critical essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent", Eliot argues that art must be understood not in a vacuum, but in the context of previous pieces of art. "In a peculiar sense [an artist or poet] ... must inevitably be judged by the standards of the past."[76] This essay was an important influence over the New Criticism by introducing the idea that the value of a work of art must be viewed in the context of the artist's previous works, a "simultaneous order" of works (i.e., "tradition"). Eliot himself employed this concept on many of his works, especially on his long-poem The Waste Land.[77]

Also important to New Criticism was the idea—as articulated in Eliot's essay "Hamlet and His Problems"—of an "objective correlative", which posits a connection among the words of the text and events, states of mind, and experiences.[78] This notion concedes that a poem means what it says, but suggests that there can be a non-subjective judgment based on different readers' different—but perhaps corollary—interpretations of a work.

More generally, New Critics took a cue from Eliot in regard to his "'classical' ideals and his religious thought; his attention to the poetry and drama of the early seventeenth century; his deprecation of the Romantics, especially Shelley; his proposition that good poems constitute 'not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion'; and his insistence that 'poets... at present must be difficult'."[79]

Eliot's essays were a major factor in the revival of interest in the metaphysical poets. Eliot particularly praised the metaphysical poets' ability to show experience as both psychological and sensual, while at the same time infusing this portrayal with—in Eliot's view—wit and uniqueness. Eliot's essay "The Metaphysical Poets", along with giving new significance and attention to metaphysical poetry, introduced his now well-known definition of "unified sensibility", which is considered by some to mean the same thing as the term "metaphysical".[80][81]

His 1922 poem The Waste Land[82] also can be better understood in light of his work as a critic. He had argued that a poet must write "programmatic criticism", that is, a poet should write to advance his own interests rather than to advance "historical scholarship". Viewed from Eliot's critical lens, The Waste Land likely shows his personal despair about World War I rather than an objective historical understanding of it.[83]

Late in his career, Eliot focused much of his creative energy on writing for the theatre; some of his earlier critical writing, in essays such as "Poetry and Drama,"[84] "Hamlet and his Problems,"[78] and "The Possibility of a Poetic Drama,"[85] focused on the aesthetics of writing drama in verse.

Critical reception

Responses to his poetry

The writer Ronald Bush notes that Eliot's early poems like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", "Portrait of a Lady", "La Figlia Che Piange", "Preludes", and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" had "[an] effect [that] was both unique and compelling, and their assurance staggered [Eliot's] contemporaries who were privileged to read them in manuscript. [Conrad] Aiken, for example, marveled at 'how sharp and complete and sui generis the whole thing was, from the outset. The wholeness is there, from the very beginning.'"[2]

The initial critical response to Eliot's "The Waste Land" was mixed. Bush notes that the piece was at first correctly perceived as a work of jazz-like syncopation—and, like 1920s jazz, essentially iconoclastic."[2] Some critics, like Edmund Wilson, Conrad Aiken, and Gilbert Seldes thought it was the best poetry being written in the English language while others thought it was esoteric and wilfully difficult. Edmund Wilson, being one of the critics who praised Eliot, called him "one of our only authentic poets".[86] Wilson also pointed out some of Eliot's weaknesses as a poet. In regard to "The Waste Land", Wilson admits its flaws ("its lack of structural unity"), but concluded, "I doubt whether there is a single other poem of equal length by a contemporary American which displays so high and so varied a mastery of English verse."[86]

Charles Powell was negative in his criticism of Eliot, calling his poems incomprehensible.[87] And the writers of Time magazine were similarly baffled by a challenging poem like "The Waste Land".[88] John Crowe Ransom wrote negative criticisms of Eliot's work but also had positive things to say. For instance, though Ransom negatively criticised "The Waste Land" for its "extreme disconnection", Ransom was not completely condemnatory of Eliot's work and admitted that Eliot was a talented poet.[89]

Addressing some of the common criticisms directed against "The Waste Land" at the time, Gilbert Seldes stated, "It seems at first sight remarkably disconnected and confused... [however] a closer view of the poem does more than illuminate the difficulties; it reveals the hidden form of the work, [and] indicates how each thing falls into place."[90]

Eliot's reputation as a poet, as well as his influence in the academy, peaked following the publication of The Four Quartets. In an essay on Eliot published in 1989, the writer Cynthia Ozick refers to this peak of influence (from the 1940s through the early 1960s) as "the Age of Eliot" when Eliot "seemed pure zenith, a colossus, nothing less than a permanent luminary, fixed in the firmament like the sun and the moon".[91] But during this post-war period, others, like Ronald Bush, observed that this time also marked the beginning of the decline in Eliot's literary influence:

As Eliot's conservative religious and political convictions began to seem less congenial in the postwar world, other readers reacted with suspicion to his assertions of authority, obvious in Four Quartets and implicit in the earlier poetry. The result, fueled by intermittent rediscovery of Eliot's occasional anti-Semitic rhetoric, has been a progressive downward revision of his once towering reputation.[2]

Bush also notes that Eliot's reputation "slipped" significantly further after his death. He writes, "Sometimes regarded as too academic (William Carlos Williams's view), Eliot was also frequently criticized for a deadening neoclassicism (as he himself—perhaps just as unfairly—had criticized Milton). However, the multifarious tributes from practicing poets of many schools published during his centenary in 1988 was a strong indication of the intimidating continued presence of his poetic voice."[2]

Although Eliot's poetry is not as influential as it once was, notable literary scholars, like Harold Bloom[92] and Stephen Greenblatt,[93] still acknowledge that Eliot's poetry is central to the literary English canon. For instance, the editors of The Norton Anthology of English Literature write, "There is no disagreement on [Eliot's] importance as one of the great renovators of the English poetry dialect, whose influence on a whole generation of poets, critics, and intellectuals generally was enormous. [However] his range as a poet [was] limited, and his interest in the great middle ground of human experience (as distinct from the extremes of saint and sinner) [was] deficient." Despite this criticism, these scholars also acknowledge "[Eliot's] poetic cunning, his fine craftsmanship, his original accent, his historical and representative importance as the poet of the modern symbolist-Metaphysical tradition".[93]


The depiction of Jews in some of Eliot's poems has led several critics to accuse him of anti-Semitism. This case has been presented most forcefully in a study by Anthony Julius: T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form (1996).[94][95] In "Gerontion", Eliot writes, in the voice of the poem's elderly narrator, "And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner [of my building] / Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp."[96] Another well-known example appears in the poem, "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar". In this poem, Eliot wrote, "The rats are underneath the piles. / The jew is underneath the lot. / Money in furs."[97] Interpreting the line as an indirect comparison of Jews to rats, Julius writes: "The anti-Semitism is unmistakable. It reaches out like a clear signal to the reader." Julius's viewpoint has been supported by literary critics such as Harold Bloom,[98] Christopher Ricks,[99] George Steiner,[99] Tom Paulin[100] and James Fenton.[99]

In a series of lectures delivered at the University of Virginia in 1933, published under the title After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy (1934), Eliot wrote of societal tradition and coherence, "What is still more important [than cultural homogeneity] is unity of religious background, and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable."[101] Eliot never re-published this book/lecture.[99] In his 1934 pageant play The Rock, Eliot distances himself from Fascist movements of the Thirties by caricaturing Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts, who "firmly refuse/ To descend to palaver with anthropoid Jews".[102] The "new evangels"[102] of totalitarianism are presented as antithetic to the spirit of Christianity.

Craig Raine, in his books In Defence of T. S. Eliot (2001) and T. S. Eliot (2006), sought to defend Eliot from the charge of anti-Semitism. Reviewing the 2006 book, Paul Dean stated that he was not convinced by Raine's argument. Nevertheless, he concluded, "Ultimately, as both Raine and, to do him justice, Julius insist, however much Eliot may have been compromised as a person, as we all are in our several ways, his greatness as a poet remains."[99] In another review of Raine's 2006 book, the literary critic Terry Eagleton also questioned the validity of Raine's defence of Eliot's character flaws as well as the entire basis for Raine's book, writing, "Why do critics feel a need to defend the authors they write on, like doting parents deaf to all criticism of their obnoxious children? Eliot's well-earned reputation [as a poet] is established beyond all doubt, and making him out to be as unflawed as the Archangel Gabriel does him no favours."[103]


Eliot's influence extends beyond the English language. His work, in particular The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, and Ash Wednesday strongly influenced the poetry of two of the most significant post-War Irish language poets, Seán Ó Ríordáin and Máirtín Ó Díreáin, as well as The Weekend of Dermot and Grace (1964) by Eoghan O Tuairisc. Eliot additionally influenced, among many others, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, William Gaddis, Allen Tate, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney, Kamau Brathwaite,[104] Russell Kirk,[105] George Seferis (who in 1936 published a modern Greek translation of The Waste Land) and James Joyce.[106] Eliot's poetry also inspired the creation of musical works such as "The Burial" (2015).[107] This Progressive-Rock transposition by Banaau is made of five tracks: after a three-minute instrumental prologue, the remaining tracks—titled “Summer Surprised Us,” “What Are the Roots,” “Madame Sosostris,” and “Unreal City”—are all settings of the first part of The Waste Land.[108]

Honours and awards

Below are a partial list of honours and awards received by Eliot or bestowed or created in his honour.

National or State Honours

These honours are displayed in order of precedence based on Eliot's nationality and rules of protocol, not awarding date.

National or State Honours
Order of Merit (Commonwealth realms) ribbon.png Order of Merit United Kingdom 1948[109][110]
Presidential Medal of Freedom (ribbon).png Presidential Medal of Freedom United States 1964
Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg Officier de la Legion d'Honneur France 1951
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Commandeur ribbon.svg Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres France 1960

Literary awards

• Nobel Prize in Literature "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry" (1948)[6]
• Hanseatic Goethe Prize (of Hamburg) (1955)
• Dante Medal (of Florence) (1959)

Drama awards

• Tony Award for Best Play: The Broadway production of The Cocktail Party (1950)
• 2 Tony Awards for his poems used in the musical Cats (1983)

Academic awards

• Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa (1935)[111]
• Thirteen Honorary Doctorates (Including ones from Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and Harvard)

Other honours

• Eliot College of the University of Kent, England, named in his honour
• Celebrated on U.S. commemorative postage stamps
• Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame


Source: "T. S. Eliot Bibliography". Nobel Prize. Retrieved 25 February 2012.

Earliest works

• Prose
o "The Birds of Prey" (a short story; 1905)[112]
o "A Tale of a Whale" (a short story; 1905)
o "The Man Who Was King" (a short story; 1905)[113]
o "The Wine and the Puritans" (review, 1909)
o "The Point of View" (1909)
o "Gentlemen and Seamen" (1909)
o "Egoist" (review, 1909)
• Poems
o "A Fable for Feasters" (1905)
o "[A Lyric:]'If Time and Space as Sages say'" (1905)
o "[At Graduation 1905]" (1905)
o "Song: 'If space and time, as sages say'" (1907)
o "Before Morning" (1908)
o "Circe's Palace" (1908)
o "Song: 'When we came home across the hill'" (1909)
o "On a Portrait" (1909)
o "Nocturne" (1909)
o "Humoresque" (1910)
o "Spleen" (1910)
o "[Class] Ode" (1910)


• Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)
o The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
o Portrait of a Lady
o Preludes
o Rhapsody on a Windy Night
o Morning at the Window
o The Boston Evening Transcript (about the Boston Evening Transcript)
o Aunt Helen
o Cousin Nancy
o Mr. Apollinax
o Hysteria
o Conversation Galante
o La Figlia Che Piange
• Poems (1920)
o Gerontion
o Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar
o Sweeney Erect
o A Cooking Egg
o Le Directeur
o Mélange Adultère de Tout
o Lune de Miel
o The Hippopotamus
o Dans le Restaurant
o Whispers of Immortality
o Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service
o Sweeney Among the Nightingales
• The Waste Land (1922)
• The Hollow Men (1925)
• Ariel Poems (1927–1954)
o Journey of the Magi (1927)
o A Song for Simeon (1928)
o Animula (1929)
o Marina (1930)
o Triumphal March (1931)
o The Cultivation of Christmas Trees (1954)
• Ash Wednesday (1930)
• Coriolan (1931)
• Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939)
• The Marching Song of the Pollicle Dogs and Billy M'Caw: The Remarkable Parrot(1939) in The Queen's Book of the Red Cross
• Four Quartets (1945)
• Macavity:The Mystery Cat


• Sweeney Agonistes (published in 1926, first performed in 1934)
• The Rock (1934)
• Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
• The Family Reunion (1939)
• The Cocktail Party (1949)
• The Confidential Clerk (1953)
• The Elder Statesman (first performed in 1958, published in 1959)


• Christianity & Culture (1939, 1948)
• The Second-Order Mind (1920)
• Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920)
• The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1920)
o "Hamlet and His Problems"
• Homage to John Dryden (1924)
• Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (1928)
• For Lancelot Andrewes (1928)
• Dante (1929)
• Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (1932)
• The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933)
• After Strange Gods (1934)
• Elizabethan Essays (1934)
• Essays Ancient and Modern (1936)
• The Idea of a Christian Society (1939)
• A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1941) made by Eliot, with an essay on Rudyard Kipling
• Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948)
• Poetry and Drama (1951)
• The Three Voices of Poetry (1954)
• The Frontiers of Criticism (1956)
• On Poetry and Poets (1943)
Posthumous publications[edit]
• To Criticize the Critic (1965)
• The Waste Land: Facsimile Edition (1974)
• Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917 (1996)

Critical editions

• Collected Poems, 1909–1962 (1963), excerpt and text search
• Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Illustrated Edition (1982), excerpt and text search
• Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot, edited by Frank Kermode (1975), excerpt and text search
• The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions), edited by Michael North (2000) excerpt and text search
• Selected Essays (1932); enlarged (1960)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, Volume 1: 1898–1922 (1988, revised 2009)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, Volume 2: 1923–1925 (2009)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 3: 1926–1927 (2012)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 4: 1928–1929 (2013)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 5: 1930–1931 (2014)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 6: 1932–1933 (2016)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 7: 1934–1935 (2017)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 8: 1936–1938 (2019)


1. Jewel Spears Brooker, Mastery and Escape: T.S. Eliot and the Dialectic of Modernism, University of Massachusetts Press, 1996, p. 172.
2. Bush, Ronald. "T. S. Eliot's Life and Career", in John A Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (eds), American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, via Modern American Poetry.
3. Sanna, Ellyn (2003). "Biography of T. S. Eliot". In Bloom, Harold. T.S. Eliot. Bloom's Biocritiques. Broomall: Chelsea House Publishing. pp. (3–44) 30.
4. "Thomas Stearns Eliot", Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed 7 November 2009.
5. "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948". Nobel Media. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
6. "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948 – T.S. Eliot",, taken from Frenz, Horst (ed). Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901–1967. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1969, accessed 6 March 2012.
7. Bush, Ronald, T. S. Eliot: The Modernist in History (New York, 1991), p. 72.
8. Literary St. Louis. Associates of St. Louis University Libraries, Inc. and Landmarks Association of St. Louis, Inc. 1969.
9. Worthen, John (2009). T.S. Eliot: A Short Biography. London: Haus Publishing. p. 9.
10. Sencourt, Robert (1971). T.S. Eliot, A Memoir. London: Garnstone Limited. p. 18.
11. Letter to Marquis Childs quoted in St. Louis Post Dispatch (15 October 1930) and in the address "American Literature and the American Language" delivered at Washington University in St. Louis (9 June 1953), published in Washington University Studies, New Series: Literature and Language, no. 23 (St. Louis: Washington University Press, 1953), p. 6.
12. Hall, Donald. The Art of Poetry No. 1, The Paris Review, Issue 21, Spring–Summer 1959, accessed 29 November 2011.
13. Gallup, Donald. T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography (A Revised and Extended Edition), Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1969.
14. Eliot, T.S. Poems Written in Early Youth, John Davy Hayward, ed. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1967
15. Narita, Tatsushi, "The Young T. S. Eliot and Alien Cultures: His Philippine Interactions", The Review of English Studies, New Series, vol. 45, no. 180, 1994, pp. 523–525.
16. Narita, Tatsush, T. S. Eliot, The World Fair of St. Louis and "Autonomy", Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan (2013), pp. 9–104.
17. Bush, Ronald, "The Presence of the Past: Ethnographic Thinking/ Literary Politics", in Elzar Barkan and Ronald Bush (eds), Prehistories of the Future, Stanford University Press,(1995), pp. 3–5; 25–31.
18. Marsh, Alex, and Elizabeth Daumer, "Pound and T. S. Eliot", American Literary Scholarship, 2005, p. 182.
19. Kermode, Frank. "Introduction" to The Waste Land and Other Poems, Penguin Classics, 2003.
20. Perl, Jeffry M., and Andrew P. Tuck. "The Hidden Advantage of Tradition: On the Significance of T. S. Eliot's Indic Studies", Philosophy East & West V. 35, No. 2, April 1985, pp. 116–131.
21. Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, First Wife of T. S. Eliot, Knopf Publishing Group, p. 1.
22. Worthen, John (2009). T.S. Eliot: A Short Biography. London: Haus Publishing. pp. 34–36.
23. For a reading of the dissertation, see Brazeal, Gregory (Fall 2007). "The Alleged Pragmatism of T.S. Eliot". Philosophy & Literature. 31 (1): 248–264. SSRN 1738642.
24. Eliot, T. S. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Volume 1, 1898–1922. p. 75.
25. Richardson, John, Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters. Random House, 2001, p. 20.
26. Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot. Knopf Publishing Group, 2001, p. 17.
27. The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volume 1, 1898–1922. London: Faber and Faber. 1988. p. 533.
28. Eliot, T. S. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Volume 1, 1898–1922. London: Faber and Faber. 1988. p. xvii.
29. Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. pp. 492–495.
30. Kojecky, Roger (1972). T. S. Eliot's Social Criticism. Faber & Faber. p. 55. ISBN 978-0571096923.
31. Jason Harding (31 March 2011). T. S. Eliot in Context. Cambridge University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-139-50015-9. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
32. F B Pinion (27 August 1986). A T.S. Eliot Companion: Life and Works. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-349-07449-5. Retrieved 26 October2017.
33. T.S. Eliot. Voices and Visions Series. New York Center of Visual History: PBS, 1988.[1]
34. plaque on interior wall of Saint Stephen's
35. obituary notice in Church and King, Vol. XVII, No. 4, 28 February 1965,−− p. 3.
36. Specific quote is "The general point of view [of the essays] may be described as classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic [sic] in religion", in preface by T. S. Eliot to For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on style and order(1929).
37. Books: Royalist, Classicist, Anglo-Catholic, 25 May 1936, Time.
38. Eliot, T. S. (1986). On Poetry and Poets. London: Faber & Faber. p. 209. ISBN 978-0571089833.
39. Radio interview on 26 September 1959, Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, as cited in Wilson, Colin (1988). Beyond the Occult. London: Bantam Press. pp. 335–336.
40. Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot. Constable 2001, p. 561.
41. Bush, Ronald, T. S. Eliot: The Modernist in History 1991, p. 11: "Mary Trevelyan, then aged forty, was less important for Eliot's writing. Where Emily Hale and Vivienne were part of Eliot's private phantasmagoria, Mary Trevelyan played her part in what was essentially a public friendship. She was Eliot's escort for nearly twenty years until his second marriage in 1957. A brainy woman, with the bracing organizational energy of a Florence Nightingale, she propped the outer structure of Eliot's life, but for him she, too, represented .."
42. Surette, Leon, The Modern Dilemma: Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and Humanism, 2008, p. 343: "Later, sensible, efficient Mary Trevelyan served her long stint as support during the years of penitence. For her their friendship was a commitment; for Eliot quite peripheral. His passion for immortality was so commanding that it allowed him to ..."
43. Haldar, Santwana, T. S. Eliot – A Twenty-first Century View 2005, p. xv: "Details of Eliot's friendship with Emily Hale, who was very close to him in his Boston days and with Mary Trevelyan, who wanted to marry him and left a riveting memoir of Eliot's most inscrutable years of fame, shed new light on this period in...."
44. "Valerie Eliot", The Telegraph, 11 November 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
45. Gordon, Lyndall. T. S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life. Norton 1998, p. 455.
46. Gordon, Jane. "The University of Verse", The New York Times, 16 October 2005; Wesleyan University Press timeline Archived 1 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 1957.
47. Lawless, Jill (11 November 2012). "T.S. Eliot's widow Valerie Eliot dies at 86". Associated Press via Yahoo News. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
48. Grantq, Michael (1997). Books on Google Play T.S. Eliot: The Critical Heritage, Volume 1. Psychology Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780415159470.
49. McSmith, Andy (16 March 2010). "Famous names whose final stop was Golders Green crematorium". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
50. Premier (2014). "National Poetry Day on Premier 2013 - Premier". Premier. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
51. Jenkins, Simon (6 April 2007). "East Coker does not deserve the taint of TS Eliot's narcissistic gloom". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
52. "Thomas Stearns Eliot". Retrieved 1 December2016.
53. "T. S. Eliot Blue Plaque". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
54. Eliot, T. S. "Letter to J. H. Woods, April 21, 1919." The Letters of T. S. Eliot, vol. I. Valerie Eliot (ed.), New York: Harcourt Brace, 1988, p. 285.
55. "T. S. Eliot: The Harvard Advocate Poems". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
56. Hall, Donald (Spring–Summer 1959). "The Art of Poetry No. 1" (PDF). The Paris Review. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
57. "T. S. Eliot and Indic Traditions: A Study in Poetry and Belief". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
58. Mertens, Richard. "Letter By Letter" in The University of Chicago Magazine(August 2001). Retrieved 23 April 2007.
59. See, for example, Eliot, T. S. (21 December 2010). The Waste Land and Other Poems. Broadview Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-77048-267-8. Retrieved 27 February 2019. (citing an unsigned review in Literary World. 5 July 1917, vol. lxxxiii, 107.)
60. Waugh, Arthur. "The New Poetry", Quarterly Review, October 1916, p. 226, citing the Times Literary Supplement 21 June 1917, no. 805, 299; Wagner, Erica (2001), "An eruption of fury", The Guardian, letters to the editor, 4 September 2001. Wagner omits the word "very" from the quote.
61. Miller, James H., Jr. (2005). T. S. Eliot: the making of an American poet, 1888–1922. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-0-271-02681-7.
62. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Vol. 1, p. 596.
63. MacCabe, Colin. T. S. Eliot. Tavistock: Northcote House, 2006.
64. Wilson, Edmund. "Review of Ash Wednesday", New Republic, 20 August 1930.
65. See, for instance, the biographically oriented work of one of Eliot's editors and major critics, Ronald Schuchard.
66. Grant, Michael (ed.). T. S. Eliot: the Critical Heritage. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
67. " 'Ulysses', Order, and Myth", Selected Essays T. S. Eliot (orig 1923).
68. Raine, Craig. T. S. Eliot (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)
69. Untermeyer, Louis. Modern American Poetry. Hartcourt Brace, 1950, pp. 395–396.
70. "An introduction to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". The British Library. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
71. Eliot, T. S. The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, Harvard University Press, 1933 (penultimate paragraph).
72. Darlington, W. A. (2004). "Henry Sherek". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
73. T. S. Eliot at the Institute for Advanced Study, The Institute Letter, Spring 2007, p. 6.
74. Eliot, Thomas Stearns Archived 19 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine IAS profile.
75. quoted in Roger Kimball, "A Craving for Reality", The New Criterion Vol. 18, 1999.
76. Eliot, T. S. (1930). "Tradition and the Individual Talent". The Sacred Wood. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
77. Dirk Weidmann: And I Tiresias have foresuffered all.... In: LITERATURA 51 (3), 2009, pp. 98–108.
78. Eliot, T. S. (1921). "Hamlet and His Problems". The Sacred Wood. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
79. Burt, Steven and Lewin, Jennifer. "Poetry and the New Criticism". A Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry, Neil Roberts, ed. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 2001. p. 154
80. "Project MUSE". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
81. A. E. Malloch, "The Unified Sensibility and Metaphysical Poetry", College English, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Nov. 1953), pp. 95–101
82. Eliot, T. S. (1922). "The Waste Land". Retrieved 3 August2009.
83. "T. S. Eliot :: The Waste Land And Criticism". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 January 1965. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
84. Eliot, T. S. (1 January 2000). Poetry And Drama. Faber And Faber Limited. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via Internet Archive.
85. Eliot, T. S. (1921). "The Possibility of a Poetic Drama". The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
86. Wilson, Edmund, "The Poetry of Drouth". The Dial 73. December 1922. 611-16.
87. Powell, Charles, "So Much Waste Paper". Manchester Guardian, 31 October 1923.
88. Time, 3 March 1923, 12.
89. Ransom, John Crowe. "Waste Lands". New York Evening Post Literary Review, 14 July 1923, pp. 825–26.
90. Seldes, Gilbert. "T. S. Eliot". Nation, 6 December 1922. 614–616.
91. Ozick, Cynthia (20 November 1989). "T.S. ELIOT AT 101". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
92. Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon: Books and Schools of the Ages. NY: Riverhead, 1995.
93. Stephen Greenblatt, et al. (eds), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2. "T.S. Eliot". New York,NY: W.W. Norton & Co.: NY, NY, 2000.
94. Gross, John. Was T.S. Eliot a Scoundrel?, Commentary magazine, November 1996
95. Anthony, Julius. T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form. Cambridge University Press, 1996 ISBN 0-521-58673-9
96. Eliot, T. S. "Gerontion". Collected Poems. Harcourt, 1963.
97. Eliot, T. S. "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar". Collected Poems. Harcourt, 1963.
98. Bloom, Harold (7 May 2010). "The Jewish Question: British Anti-Semitism". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
99. Dean, Paul (April 2007). "Academimic: on Craig Raine's T.S. Eliot". The New Criterion. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
100. Paulin, Tom, "Undesirable", London Review of Books, 9 May 1996.
101. Kirk, Russell. "T. S. Eliot on Literary Morals: On T. S. Eliot's After Strange Gods", Touchstone Magazine, volume 10, issue 4, Fall 1997.
102. T.S. Eliot, The Rock (London: Faber and Faber, 1934), 44.
103. Eagleton, Terry. "Raine's Sterile Thunder", Prospect Magazine, 22 March 2007.
104. Brathwaite, Kamau, "Roots", History of the Voice, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993, p. 286.
105. "". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
106. Sorel, Nancy Caldwell (18 November 1995). "FIRST ENCOUNTERS : When James Joyce met TS Eliot". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
107. rdtprog. "The Burial". Prog Archives.
108. Chinitz, David (Summer 2016). "Public sightings - The music crept by me"(PDF). Time Present - The Newsletter of the T.S. Eliot Society. Number 89: 7.
109. "Poet T.S. Eliot Dies in London". This Day in History. Retrieved 16 February2012.
110. McCreery, Christopher (2005). The Order of Canada: Its Origins, History, and Development. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802039408.
111. "Instagram photo by The Phi Beta Kappa Society • Jul 15, 2015 at 7:44pm UTC". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
112. The three short stories published in the Smith Academy Record (1905) have never been recollected in any form and have virtually been neglected.
113. As for a comparative study of this short story and Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King", see Tatsushi Narita, T. S. Eliot and his Youth as "A Literary Columbus" (Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan, 2011), 21–30.

Further reading

• Ackroyd, Peter. T. S. Eliot: A Life (1984).
• Ali, Ahmed. Mr. Eliot's Penny World of Dreams: An Essay in the Interpretation of T.S. Eliot's Poetry, Published for the Lucknow University by New Book Co., Bombay, P.S. King & Staples Ltd, Westminster, London, 1942, 138 pp.
• Asher, Kenneth T. S. Eliot and Ideology (1995).
• Bottum, Joseph, "What T. S. Eliot Almost Believed", First Things 55 (August/September 1995): 25–30.
• Brand, Clinton A. "The Voice of This Calling: The Enduring Legacy of T. S. Eliot", Modern Age Volume 45, Number 4; Fall 2003 online edition, conservative perspective.
• Brown, Alec. The Lyrical Impulse in Eliot's Poetry, Scrutinies, vol. 2.
• Bush, Ronald. T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style (1984).
• Bush, Ronald, 'The Presence of the Past: Ethnographic Thinking/ Literary Politics'. In Prehistories of the Future, ed. Elzar Barkan and Ronald Bush, Stanford University Press (1995).
• Crawford, Robert. The Savage and the City in the Work of T. S. Eliot (1987).
• ---. Young Eliot: From St Louis to "The Waste Land" (2015).
• Christensen, Karen. "Dear Mrs. Eliot", The Guardian Review (29 January 2005).
• Dawson, J. L., P. D. Holland & D. J. McKitterick, A Concordance to "The Complete Poems and Plays of T.S. Eliot" Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1995.
• Forster, E. M. Essay on T. S. Eliot, in Life and Letters, June 1929.
• Gardner, Helen. The Art of T. S. Eliot (1949).
• Gordon, Lyndall. T. S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life (1998).
• Guha, Chinmoy. Where the Dreams Cross: T. S. Eliot and French Poetry (2000, 2011).
• Harding, W. D. T. S. Eliot, 1925–1935, Scrutiny, September 1936: A Review.
• Hargrove, Nancy Duvall. Landscape as Symbol in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot. University Press of Mississippi (1978).
• ---. T. S. Eliot's Parisian Year. University Press of Florida (2009).
• Julius, Anthony. T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form. Cambridge University Press (1995).
• Kenner, Hugh. The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot (1969).
• ---, editor, T. S. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (1962).
• Kirk, Russell Eliot and His Age: T. S, Eliot's Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century (Introduction by Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr.). Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Republication of the revised second edition, 2008.
• Kojecky, Roger. T.S. Eliot's Social Criticism, Faber & Faber, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1972, revised Kindle edn. 2014.
• Lal, P. (editor), T. S. Eliot: Homage from India: A Commemoration Volume of 55 Essays & Elegies, Writer's Workshop Calcutta, 1965.
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot. Ed. Valerie Eliot. Vol. I, 1898–1922. San Diego [etc.], 1988. Vol. 2, 1923–1925. Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, London: Faber, 2009. ISBN 978-0-571-14081-7
• Levy, William Turner and Victor Scherle. Affectionately, T. S. Eliot: The Story of a Friendship: 1947–1965 (1968).
• Matthews, T. S. Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot (1973)
• Maxwell, D. E. S. The Poetry of T. S. Eliot, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1960).
• Miller, James E., Jr. T. S. Eliot. The Making of an American Poet, 1888–1922. The Pennsylvania State University Press. 2005.
• North, Michael (ed.) The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions). New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.
• Raine, Craig. T. S. Eliot. Oxford University Press (2006).
• Ricks, Christopher.T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (1988).
• Robinson, Ian "The English Prophets", The Brynmill Press Ltd (2001)
• Schuchard, Ronald. Eliot's Dark Angel: Intersections of Life and Art (1999).
• Scofield, Dr. Martin, "T.S. Eliot: The Poems", Cambridge University Press (1988).
• Seferis, George. "Introduction to T. S. Eliot" in Modernism/modernity 16:1 ([2]January 2009), 146–60.
• Sencourt, Robert. T. S. Eliot: A Memoir (1971)
• Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot (2001).
• Sinha, Arun Kumar and Vikram, Kumar. T. S. Eliot: An Intensive Study of Selected Poems, New Delhi: Spectrum Books Pvt. Ltd (2005).
• Spender, Stephen. T. S. Eliot (1975)
• Spurr, Barry, Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity, The Lutterworth Press (2009)
• Tate, Allen, editor. T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work (1966; republished by Penguin, 1971).

External links

• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations from Wikiquote
• Texts from Wikisource


• T. S. Eliot at the Poetry Foundation
• Biography From T. S. Eliot Lives' and Legacies
• Eliot family genealogy, including T. S. Eliot
• Eliot's grave
• T. S. Eliot at Find a Grave
• Lyndall Gordon, Eliot's Early Years, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1977, ISBN 978-0-19-812078-0.
• T. S. Eliot Profile, Poems, Essays at


• official listing of T. S. Eliot's works with some available in full
• listing of T S Eliot's works written for the stage
• Works by T. S. Eliot at Project Gutenberg
• Works by T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about T. S. Eliot at Internet Archive
• Works by T. S. Eliot at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Poems by T.S. Eliot and biography at
• Text of early poems (1907–1910) printed in The Harvard Advocate
• T. S. Eliot Collection at
• T.S. Eliot's Cats

Web sites

• T. S. Eliot Society (UK) Resource Hub
• T. S. Eliot Hypertext Project
• Official (T. S. Eliot Estate) site
• T. S. Eliot Society (US) Home Page


• "Archival material relating to T. S. Eliot". UK National Archives.
• Search for T.S. Eliot at Harvard University
• T. S. Eliot Collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin
• T. S. Eliot Collection at Merton College, Oxford University
• T. S. Eliot collection at University of Victoria, Special Collections


• Links to audio recordings of Eliot reading his work
• An interview with Eliot: Donald Hall (Spring–Summer 1959). "T. S. Eliot, The Art of Poetry No. 1". Paris Review.
• Yale College Lecture on T.S. Eliot audio, video and full transcripts from Open Yale Courses
• T S Eliot at the British Library
• Newspaper clippings about T. S. Eliot in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Famous People and the impact of the Theosophical Society: Inventory of the influence of the Theosophical Society
by Katinka Hesselink
Accessed: 4/12/19



This list is a tentative inventory of the impact of the Theosophical Society on the world. It owes a lot to John Algeo's work. Some things have been included, even though my source for them is merely the theosophical grapevine. These obviously need further study. I have also (not yet) included proper source references. This will hopefully come in time. At the moment the list only includes people from the Theosophical Society Adyar. This is not a policy, but a reflection on my knowledge in this field. If anyone can come up with people from other theosophical organisations that had a significant impact on society, feel free to contact me.

I realize that this is a problematic field of study: what exactly constitutes influence? Still I think it is possible to give some sort of answer to the question of the influence of the Theosophical Society by doing an inventory of prominent cultural innovators who were members of the Theosophical Society. If one can find a significant number, it is plausible that the relatively small organization did have a relatively high influence on East and West. As the list shows it isn't always easy to show how the Theosophical Society or its ideals and teachings made a difference in a certain persons perspective or method. Still, I think it is useful to cultural historians to be aware of memberships of the Theosophical Society. For Theosophical Society-members it may be interesting to know the contributions Theosophical Society-members have made in the world.

Some people who made it on this list were never members of the Theosophical Society, in those cases a note has been added. They are on here because of their spiritual interests, or their contact with theosophists even if they never joined.

This list has become partly unnecessary because the Theosophical Encyclopedia also gives a decent inventory.


Lyman Frank Baum, American author of The Wizard of Oz and other children’s stories (1851 –1919)

Mohini Chatterji, on the Gita, Vivekachudamani, etc. (1858 –1936)

James Henry Cousins (1873 – February 20, 1956) was an Irish writer, playwright, actor, critic, editor, teacher and poet. He used several pseudonyms including Mac Oisín and the Hindu name Jayaram.[1] Cousins was significantly influenced by Russell's ability to reconcile mysticism with a pragmatic approach to social reforms and by the teachings of Madame Blavatsky. He had a life-long interest in the paranormal and acted as reporter in several experiments carried out by William Fletcher Barrett, Professor of physics at Dublin University and one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research. He also wrote widely on the subject of Theosophy and in 1915 Cousins travelled to India with the voyage fees paid for by Annie Besant the President of the Theosophical Society. (Source: wikipedia)

Robert Duncan (January 7, 1919 – February 3, 1988) was an American poet and a student of H.D. and the Western esoteric tradition who spent most of his career in and around San Francisco. Though associated with any number of literary traditions and schools, Duncan is often identified with the poets of the New American Poetry and Black Mountain College. Duncan's mature work emerged in the 1950s in the literary context of Beat culture. Duncan was a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance. Duncan was born in Oakland, California, as Edward Howard Duncan Jr. His mother, Marguerite Pearl Duncan, had died in childbirth and his father was unable to afford him, so in 1920 he was adopted by Edwin and Minnehaha Symmes, a family of devout Theosophists.(Source: wikipedia)

William Butler Yeats, Anglo-Irish poet and playwright (1865 –1939)

George W. Russell (Æ), Irish poet, painter, and agricultural expert (1867 –1935)

Talbot Mundy (1879 –1940)

Sir Edwin Arnold, British author of The Light of Asia and The Song Celestial

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), author of the Alice books, Sylvie and Bruno, etc. (1832 –1898)

Kahlil Gibran (cf. Prophet : the life and times of Kahlil Gibran / Robin Waterfield. (New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998), p. 225.)

Sir Henry Rider Haggard, English novelist, King Solomon’s Mines, She, etc. (1856 –1925)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British author of Sherlock Holmes stories, Spiritualist (1859 –1930). His theosophical interests are debatable. He looked into theosophy and was in touch with the Blavatsky Association about the Hodgson Report.

Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian Symbolist poet, playwright, and novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1911 (1862 –1949)

Algernon Blackwood, writer on the supernatural and mystery tales (1869 –1951)

Jack London, American novelist (1876 –1916)

E. M. Forster, English novelist, Passage to India, etc. (1879 –1970)

James Joyce, Irish novelist, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake (1882 –1941)

D. H. Lawrence, English novelist, The Plumed Serpent, etc. “a religious writer who did not so much reject Christianity as try to create a new religious and moral basis for modern life” (1885 –1930)

T. S. Eliot, Anglo-American poet and critic (1888 –1965)

Henry Miller, Bohemian autobiographical novelist (1891 –1980)

John Boyton Priestley, English novelist and playwright, Time and the Conways, I Have Been Here Before, An Inspector Calls (1894 –1984)

Thornton Wilder, American novelist and playwright, The Cabala, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Our Town, The Matchmaker [ > Hello, Dolly!], The Skin of Our Teeth (1897 –1975)

Kurt Vonnegut , Jr., American author of satirical novels of social criticism (b. 1922)

Sir Thomas (Tom) Stoppard, Czech-born playwright of intellectual drama, e.g. Arcadia (1993), which brought together Fermat's Last Theorem, chaos theory, landscape architecture, and Lord Byron; also Indian Ink about Indian independence and Theosophists (b. 1937)


Claude Bragdon, American architect and author (1866 –1946)

Walter Burley Griffin, American architect and city planner, who worked in F. L. Wright’s studio and who designed the plan for the Australian capital, Canberra (1876 –1937)


Sir William Crookes, theoretical physicist and inventor of the prototype of the TV tube and fluorescent lighting (1832 –1919)

Thomas Edison, American inventor of the electric light, phonograph, etc. (1847 –1931) (cf. The Theosophist, August 1931, p. 657)

Rupert Sheldrake, British biologist and proposer of morphogenetic fields. (b. 1942)

Alfred Russel Wallace, naturalist who developed a theory of natural selection independent of Darwin, excepted higher mental capacities from the theory, a Spiritualist (1823 –1913). His theosophical interests are debatable. “I have tried several Reincarnation and Theosophical books, but cannot read them or take any interest in them. They are so purely imaginative and do not seem to me rational. Many people are captivated by it. I think most people who like a grand, strange, complex theory of man and nature, given with authority- people who if religious would be Roman Catholics.” quoted from William Brock, William Crookes (1832–1919) and the Commercialization of Science, 2008 (originally in Marchant’s 1916 biography of Wallace - it comes from an 1897 letter by Wallace).

Camille Flammarion, French astronomer (1842 –1925)

Baroness Jane Goodall, scientist working with chimpanzees, Theosophical connection acknowledged in her recent book Reason for Hope (b. 1934)


Roberto Assagioli (Venice, February 27, 1888 - Capolona d'Arezzo, August 23, 1974) was an Italian psychologist, humanist, and visionary. Assagioli founded the psychological movement known as psychosynthesis, which is still being developed today by therapists, and psychologists, who practice his technique. His work in the field of psychology concentrated on spiritual needs, pertaining to the will and Ego. (Source: wikipedia)

William James, philosopher and psychologist

Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytical psychology (1875 –1961). Was not interested in Blavatsky, Leadbeater or Besant, but was in frequent contact with G.R.S. Mead - after the latter had left the T.S. in 1909.

Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia and leading investigator of reported cases of reincarnation. Probably influenced by his theosophical upbringing.

Painters and other Artists

Rukmini Devi Arundale: Revitalized Indian arts, especially dance and music. In her case membership of the Theosophical Society meant international contacts which made it possible for her to learn western dance and music, which in turn gave her the training necessary to breath new life into Indian dance. The way she ended up doing what she did is unthinkable without the contacts the Theosophical Society gave her.

Hilma af Klint, abstract painter. (cf for instance The Theosophist July 2006, p. 385-389)

Piet Mondriaan, Dutch painter, leading exponent of “de Stijl” whose “neoplastic” style profoundly influenced modern art, architecture, and graphic design (1872 –1944) Member of the Theosophical Society

Beatrice Wood, artist, ceramicist (1893 –1998)

Paul Gauguin, French post impressionist, primitivist painter (1848 –1903)

Vassily Kandinsky, Russian founder of nonobjectivist art (1866 –1944) Influenced by theosophy, not a member.

Gutzon Borglum, monumental sculptor of the Mount Rushmore presidential heads and painter of a portrait of Blavatsky 1867 –1941)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish art nouveau architect and designer (1868 –1926)

Paul Klee, whimsical Swiss artist of Der Blaue Reiter and the Bauhaus School (1879 –1940)

Nicholas Roerich, Russian mystical artist, friend of Henry Wallace (1874 –1947)

Harris, Lawren, Canadian painter was a member of the Toronto Lodge of the Theosophical Society in Canada. (October 23, 1885 – January 29, 1970)

Alex Grey. It seems unlikely this painter was influenced by the Theosophical Society, but he certainly sympathises with it as his link page testifies.


Cyril Scott, composer and author (1879 –1970)

Gustav Mahler, symphonic composer (1860 –1911)

Jean Sibelius, Finnish musical composer inspired by the Kalevala (1865 –1957)

Alexander Nikolaievitch Scriabin, Russian composer, “Theosophical ideas similarly provided the basis of the orchestral Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus (1911), which called for the projection of colours onto a screen during the performance,” (1872 –1915)

Elvis Presley, American rock and roll musician (1935 –1977)

Ruth Crawford-Seeg - composer

Dane Rudhyar - composer

Alexander Scriabin - composer


Florence Farr, actress, Golden Dawn, etc. (1860 –1917)

Dana Ivey, Broadway, screen, and TV actress

Shirley MacLaine, American film actress (b. 1934)


Annie Besant, president of the Theosophical Society, prominent activist for the independence of India (was already an activist for many causes before she became a member of the Theosophical Society). Popular lecturer on many themes. Her popularity did a lot to enlarge the membership of co-freemasonry (which accepts men and women). Education in India for boys and girls (continuing the work started by H.S. Olcott, first president of the Theosophical Society)

Allan Octavian Hume, British administrator in India, one of the founders of the Indian National Congress (1829 –1912)

Alfred Deakin, framer of the Australian Federation and Prime Minister of Australia, 1903 –4, 1905 –8, 1909 –10 (1856 –1919)

Hernández Martínez, President of El Salvador (1882 –1966)

Henry Wallace, Vice President of the United States (1888 –1965)

Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India, 1947 –64 (1889 –1964) Ferdinand T. Brooks, a young theosophists, tutored Nehru as an adolescent. Nehru acknowledged in his autobiography that “ F.T. Brooks left a deep impress upon me and I feel that I owe a debt to him and to Theosophy. ” (Theosophical History Vol. VII, Issue 3, July 1998)

George Lansbury, leader of British Labour party, 1931 –5, (1859 –1940)

Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian patriot, framer of satyagraha (1869 –1948) Gandhi certainly knew Annie Besant, had great respect for her, and the version of the Bhagavad Gita that first acquainted him with Indian philosophy was her translation. In his autobiography he describes his early acquaintance in London with Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. The two “brothers” he mentions there are almost certainly the Keightley uncle and nephew, whom others have mistaken for brothers as they were so close in age. His contribution: a reformulation of Hinduism into a passive activism. Contributed significantly to the independence movement in India and the breakdown of the castesystem.


Clara Codd, A feminist who was imprisoned in England.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, American feminist and coauthor with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony of the History of Woman Suffrage (1815 –1902)

Gloria Steinem , American writer and feminist, editor of Ms., Theosophical influence acknowledged in an interview in Jewish News (b. 1934)

Religious Figures

Guy Warren Ballard (July 28, 1878 – December 29, 1939) was an American mining engineer who became, with his wife, Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard, the founder of the "I AM" Activity. Ballard was born in Burlington, Iowa and married his wife in Chicago in 1916. Both Edna and Guy studied Theosophy and the occult extensively.(Source: Wikipedia)

Alice Ann Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949), known as Alice A. Bailey or AAB, was an influential writer and teacher in the fields of spiritual, occult, esoteric healing,astrological, Christian and other religious themes. In 1915 Bailey discovered the Theosophical Society and the work of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Bailey, pp 134–136). Theosophical Society states that Bailey became involved in 1917. Theosophist Joy Mills states that in 1918 she became a member of the Esoteric Section of the society. (Source: Wikipedia)

Paul Brunton, (1898-1981) Author of A Search in Secret India, the book that made Ramana Maharshi well known. (source) Brunton was a member of the TS only for a short while, but the biography by his son reveals that he shared many of the more obscure ideas from the Secret Doctrine. [More about Paul Brunton and his books]

Bhagwan Das (January 12, 1869 - September 18, 1958) was an Indian theosophist and public figure. For a time he served in the Central Legislative Assembly of British India. He became allied with the Hindustani Culture Society and was active in opposing rioting as a form of protest. As an advocate for national freedom from the British rule, he was often in danger of reprisals from the Colonial government. Born in Varanasi, India, he graduated school to became a deputy in the collections bureau, and later left to continue his academic pursuits. Das joined the Theosophical Society in 1894 inspired by a speech by Annie Besant. After the 1895 split, he sided with the Theosophical Society Adyar. Within that society, he was an opponent of Jiddu Krishnamurti and his "Order of the Star in the East". Das joined the Indian National Congress during the Non-cooperation movement and was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1955. With Besant he formed a professional collaboration which led to the founding of the Central Hindu College, which became Benaras Hindu University. Das would later found the Kashi Vidya Peeth, a national university where he served as headmaster. Das was a scholar of Sanskrit, from which he added to the body of Hindi language. He wrote approximately 30 books, many of these in Sanskrit and Hindi. Das received the Bharat Ratna award in 1955. (source: wikipedia)

Anagarika Dharmapala, a leading figure in the Buddhist revival (1864 –1933)

Gerard Encausse (July 13, 1865 - 25 October 1916), whose esoteric pseudonym was Papus, was the Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of occultism, who founded the modern Martinist Order. He joined the French Theosophical Society shortly after it was founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1884 - 1885, but he resigned soon after joining because he disliked the Society's emphasis on Eastern occultism. In 1888, he co-founded his own group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. That same year, he and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the Librarie du Merveilleux and its monthly revue L'Initiation, which remained in publication until 1914. (source: wikipedia)

Violet Mary Firth Evans, born Violet Mary Firth (December 6, 1890 – January 8, 1946) and better known as Dion Fortune, was a British occultist and author. She was born at Bryn-y-Bia in Llandudno, Wales, and grew up in a household where Christian Science was rigorously practiced. She reported visions of Atlantis at age four and the developing of psychic abilities during her twentieth year, at which time she suffered a nervous breakdown; after her recovery she found herself drawn to the occult. She joined the Theosophical Society and attended courses in psychology and psychoanalysis at the University of London, and became a lay psychotherapist at the Medico-Psychological Clinic in Brunswick Square.(source: wikipedia)

Manly Palmer Hall (March 18, 1901 - August 29, 1990) was a Canadian-born author and mystic. He is perhaps most famous for his work The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, published in 1928 when he was 27 years old. (Source: wikipedia, which does not mention him being a theosophist, but does list him under 'Canadian Theosophists' and 'American Theosophists')

Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. In 1903, Max Heindel moved to Los Angeles, California, seeking work. After attending lectures by the theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, he joined the Theosophical Society of Los Angeles, of which he became vice-president in 1904 and 1905. He also became a vegetarian, and began the study of astrology, which gave him the key to unlocking the mysteries of man's inner nature. He founded The Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1909/11 at Mount Ecclesia, Oceanside (California).(source: wikipedia)

Alan Leo, born William Frederick Allan, (Westminster, 7 August 1860 - Bude, 30 August 1917), was a prominent British astrologer, author, publisher and theosophist, and is considered by many to be the father of modern astrology. Leo, who took the name of his sun-sign as a pseudonym, founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society in 1915. He is credited as being one of the most important astrologers in the 20th century because it appears that his work had the effect of stimulating a revival of astrology in the west after its general downfall in the 17th century. Leo was a devout Theosophist and he worked many of religious concepts such as karma and reincarnation into his astrology. He used the Theosophical Society’s vast international connections to publish, translate and disseminate his work across Europe and America and it was in these countries that astrology began to be revived.(source: wikipedia)

Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (August 24, 1896 - July 18, 1998), 'one of the leading figures of contemporary Buddhism, not just in Sri Lanka but throughout the world' (see: Chapter 9 in 'Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka', by Richard Gombrich and Gananath Obeyesekere).

G.R.S. Mead: introduced Gnosticism to popular knowledge in England and probably the world.

Alexandra David-Néel born Louise Eugénie Alexandrine Marie David (born in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne on 24 October 1868, and died in Digne-les-Bains, on 8 September 1969) was a Belgian-French explorer, anarchist, spiritualist, Buddhist and writer, most known for her visit to Lhasa, Tibet, in 1924, when it was forbidden to foreigners. David-Néel wrote over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels. Her teachings influenced beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and philosopher Alan Watts. Born in Paris, she moved to Elsene at the age of six. During her childhood she had a very strong desire for freedom and spirituality. At the age of 18, she had already visited England, Switzerland and Spain on her own, and she was studying in Madame Blavatsky's Theosophical Society.(source: wikipedia)

Christmas Humphreys, English introducer of Buddhism to Westerners (1901 –1983). On Christmas Humphreys work as a judge. Christmas Humphreys: an article for the Canadian Theosophist.

Dr Walter Gorn Old (born 20 March 1864, at 2:06 a.m. LMT in Handsworth, England; died 23 December 1929 in Hove, England) was a notable 19th century mystic and astrologer, better known as Sepharial. An eminent English Theosophist, Sepharial was a well-known and respected astrologer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and wrote numerous books, some of which (particularly those on numerology) are still highly regarded today. He was editor of "Old Moore's Almanac", which is still published in the 21st century. In 1887 at the age of just 23 was admitted to the "inner sanctum" of the Theosophical Society. He was in fact one of the founder members of the Theosophical movement in England. Madame Blavatsky (whom he lived with until her death) called him "The Astral Tramp" because of his nightly explorations into the astral plane (Ref: Kim Farnell's book).

D.T. Suzuki, Brought Zen-Buddhism to the West. It has recently come to light that not only was his wife a central figure in the (small) theosophical scene in Japan, he himself was a member of the Theosophical Society when he lived in Japan. (Theosophical History Magazine, article by Adele Algeo)

H.S. Olcott, founding president of the Theosophical Society: Education in Sri Lanka and India, Composition of the Buddhist Catechism, Started a newspaper in Sri Lanka for the Sinhalese people. 'Sarasavi Sandaresa' [cf february 17th 2006], Buddhist flag (organization of committee and significant input in the final design)

Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz (February 2, 1878 – July 17, 1965) was an anthropologist and writer who was a pioneer in the study of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and as a teenager read Madame Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine and became interested in the teachings of Theosophy. Evans-Wentz is best known for four texts translated from the Tibetan, especially The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Evans-Wentz credited himself only as the compiler and editor of these volumes. The actual translation of the texts was performed by Tibetan Buddhists, primarily Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup (1868–1922), a teacher of English at the Maharaja's Boy's School in Gangtok, Sikkim who had also done translations for Alexandra David-Neel and Sir John Woodroffe. Evans-Wentz was a practitioner of the religions he studied. He became Dawa-Samdup's "disciple" (E-W's term), wore robes and ate a simple vegetarian diet. He passed his final twenty-three years in San Diego, and provided finanancial support to the Maha Bodhi Society, Self-Realization Fellowship, and the Theosophical Society.(source: wikipedia)

William Wynn Westcott (17 December 1848 – 30 July 1925) was a coroner, ceremonial magician, and Freemason born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England.[1]. He was a Supreme Magus (chief) of the S.R.I.A and went on to co found the Golden Dawn. Wescott co-founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and William Robert Woodman in 1887, using the motto V.H. Frater Sapere Aude. Around this time, he was also active in the Theosophical Society. (source: wikipedia)


Alonzo Decker (?? –1956), co founder of Black & Decker manufacturing company, joined T.S. in America April 3, 1929, member until his death.

General Abner Doubleday , legendary father of baseball (1819 –1893)

Maria Montessori , educator and founder of Montessori Method, based on a belief in the child’s creative potential, drive to learn, and right to be treated as an individual (1870 –1952)

Controversial / unsubstantiated
Franz Kafka, Aldous Huxley, Owen Barfield, Wallace Stevens, R. Tagore (he was at Adyar).

Ken Wilber Publishes his first books through the TSA, but the first editions aren't published by Quest Publishing, so it's not clear whether this can be seen as a link between theosophy and his work. There are obvious similarities between his approach and the theosophical one, but there is no indication that he was ever a member, nor does he reference theosophical authors much. However, the main thrust of his work reads like a modern rewrite of Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine.

George Lucas, Elvis Presley, and Einstein are known to have read some books on Theosophy.


These groups started by theosophists or had as their most active members theosophists in their early days.

Co-freemasonry (See Annie Besant)

Amnesty International (source: theosophical grapevine)

Buddhist Society in England (was the Buddhist lodge of the Theosophical Society), was founded by the most famous and influential of Western Buddhists, Christmas Humphreys (see Christmas Humphreys), who was a member of the Theosophical Society early in his life and who wrote appreciatively about H.P. Blavatsky to the end of his life.

Sufi movement started by Hazrat Inayat Khan
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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National Council of Women of the United States
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19



The National Council of Women of the United States (NCW/US) is the oldest [1] nonsectarian organization of women in America. Officially founded in 1888,[2] the NCW/US is an accredited non-governmental organization (NGO) with the Department of Public Information (UN/DPI)[1] and in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).[3]


Frances Willard, President

After her resignation, Willard focused her energies on a new career: the women's temperance movement. In 1874, Willard participated in the founding convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) where she was elected the first Corresponding Secretary.[3] In 1876, she became head of the WCTU Publications Department, focusing on publishing and building a national audience for the WCTU's weekly newspaper, The Union Signal.[5] In 1885 Willard joined with Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Mary Ellen West, Frances Conant and 43 others to found the Illinois Woman's Press Association.[6]

In 1879, she sought and successfully obtained presidency of the National WCTU. Once elected, she held the post until her death.[7] Her tireless efforts for the temperance cause included a 50-day speaking tour in 1874, an average of 30,000 miles of travel a year, and an average of 400 lectures a year for a 10-year period, mostly with the assistance of her personal secretary, Anna Adams Gordon....

Willard's suffrage argument also hinged on her feminist interpretation of Scripture. She claimed that natural and divine laws called for equality in the American household, with the mother and father sharing leadership. She expanded this notion of the home, arguing that men and women should lead side by side in matters of education, church, and government, just as "God sets male and female side by side throughout his realm of law."[11]

Willard's work took to an international scale in 1883 with the circulation of the Polyglot Petition against the international drug trade. She also joined May Wright Sewall at the International Council of Women meeting in Washington, DC, laying the permanent foundation for the National Council of Women of the United States. She became the organization's first president in 1888 and continued in that post until 1890.[7] Willard also founded the World WCTU in 1888 and became its president in 1893.[14] She collaborated closely with Lady Isabel Somerset, president of the British Women's Temperance Association, whom she visited several times in the United Kingdom.

After 1893, Willard was influenced by the British Fabian Society and became a committed Christian socialist.[15]

-- Frances Willard, by Wikipedia

Susan B. Anthony, Vice President

Mary F. Eastman, Recording Secretary

M. Louise Thomas, Treasurer

May Wright Sewall, Corresponding Secretary

During the preparations of 1887-1888 for the meeting of the International Council of Women, May Wright Sewall, an active member of the Committee of Arrangements, conceived the idea of finalizing the results of that gathering of women into permanent organizations dedicated to the uplifting of humanity. From her carefully-elaborated thought arose the permanent International Council of Women and the National Council of Women of the United States, both organized, and their central boards of officers elected, March 31, 1888,[4] in Washington, D.C. The first official officers of the National Council of Women of the United States were Frances Willard, President; Susan B. Anthony, Vice President; Mary F. Eastman, Recording Secretary; M. Louise Thomas, Treasurer (NOTE: the photo above is of "Minnie" Louise Thomas, of St. Louis, not Maria Louise Palmer Thomas (1825-1907) of Philadelphia, who was affiliated with NCW of US.); May Wright Sewall, Corresponding Secretary. They adopted and presented the following preamble:

"We, women of the United States of America, believing that the best good of humanity will be advanced by efforts toward greater unity of sympathy and purpose, and that a voluntary association of individuals so united will best serve the highest good of the family, the community, the state, do hereby freely band ourselves together into a federation of all races, creeds, and traditions, to further the application of the Golden Rule to society, custom, and law."[2]

All National organisations of women, interested in the advancement of women's work in education, philanthropy, reform, and social culture, were welcome to join. When an organization entered the Council, its president became an acting Vice-President in the Council, and it also had the right to appoint one person to represent it on the Executive Board of the Council. This Board included the general officers of the Council, together with the presidents of all organisations belonging to it, and one delegate besides its president from every organisation. This Board also constituted a committee of arrangements for the first triennial meeting of the Council.[4]

The Constitution of the NCW/US called for triennial meetings of this organization to be held at Washington, D.C. At the close of the various business meetings of 1888 connected with the International Council of Women, it was agreed that the NCW/US would hold the first of the triennial meeting, provided for by its Constitution, in February, 1891 at the Albaugh's Opera House. The central board of officers was responsible for arranging this meeting.[4]

Present day

Today, the National Council of Women of the United States works to address the diverse concerns of women in pursuit of social, economic and political equality while serving as a united voice and forum to promote progressive ideas and influence policy decisions that impact human rights. They represent all races, creeds and traditions.[5]

The National Council of Women of the United States, along with its member organizations and individual members, continues today to uphold their mission statement: to further the application of the Golden Rule to society, custom, and law.

During the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Council serves as host to hundreds of women from all over the world, introducing them to the United Nations as an organized body of 192 nations with many Commissions, Conventions and Treaties that impact women and children here and across the globe. Monitoring the United Nations and reporting on current issues and activities, they also develop, implement and present public interest seminars and workshops.[5]

Member organizations

The National Council of Women is an affiliate of the International Council of Women. The following organizations are affiliates of the National Council of Women/US: NANBPWC, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Nation to Nation Networking, Knowledge iTrust, Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association, Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, Sister To Sister International, Soroptimist International, Ukrainian National Women's League of America, International Health Awareness Network, National Council of Ghanaian Associations, United Nations Association of America (Tampa Bay, FL Chapter), Voices of African Mothers, and Zeta Phi Beta sorority.[6]

Past presidents

• Saideh A. Browne
• Iryna Kurowyckyj
• Belle S. Spafford
• Mary Lowe Dickinson
• Eva Perry Moore
• Vera Rivers
• May Wright Sewall
• Mary E. Singletary
• Suzanne Stutman
• Frances E. Willard


• Mary Lowe Dickinson
• Anne E. Wastell
• Imogene Corinne Franciscus Fales
• Susa Young Gates
• Bina West Miller
• Helen Augusta Howard
• Josephine Humpal-Zeman
• Alice Stone Blackwell
• Kate Brownlee Sherwood
• Hannah Johnston Bailey
• Lillie Devereux Blake
• Countess Aberdeen
• Anna Howard Shaw
• Claudia Howard Maxwell
• Louise Rockwood Wardner
• Minnie Jensen Snow
• Emmeline B. Wells
• Miriam Howard Dubose
• Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony



1. "National Council of Women of the United States". Retrieved 25 April2011.
2. Robbins, Lousie Barnum (1898). History and minutes of the National Council of Women of the United States, organized in Washington, D.C., March 31, 1888. Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co.
3. "United Nations: Civil Society Participation - View Profile". Retrieved 25 April 2011.
4. National Council of Women of the United States 1891, p. 8-.
5. "National Council of Women of the United States Mission". Retrieved 25 April 2011.
6. "National Council of Women of the United States Member Organizations". Retrieved 25 April 2011.


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: National Council of Women of the United States (1891). Transactions of the National Council of Women of the United States, Assembled in Washington, D.C., February 22 to 25, 1891 (Public domain ed.). J.B. Lippincott.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:13 pm

International Council of Women
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19



Highlighted countries have local organizations affiliated with ICW.

The International Council of Women (ICW) is a women's organization working across national boundaries for the common cause of advocating human rights for women. In March and April 1888, women leaders came together in Washington D.C. with 80 speakers and 49 delegates representing 53 women's organizations from 9 countries: Canada, the United States, Ireland, India, United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, France and Norway. Women from professional organizations, trade unions, arts groups and benevolent societies participate. National councils are affiliated to the ICW and thus make themselves heard at the international level. The ICW enjoys consultative status with the United Nations and its Permanent Representatives to ECOSOC, ILO, FAO, WHO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, and UNIDO.


President of ICW / Duration / Nationality

none 1888-1893 - / -- / --
Ishbel Hamilton-Gordon / 1893-1899 / Scotland
May Wright Sewall / 1899-1904 / United States

Sewall obtained permission to hold the World's Congress of Representative Women, the first meeting of the International Council of Women, in conjunction with the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.[45] Sewall struggled with other leaders over control of the gathering. Bertha Palmer, president of the fair's Board of Lady Managers and president of the woman's branch of the World’s Congress Auxiliary's, and Ellen Henrotin, vice president of the auxiliary’s woman's branch, viewed Sewall as a radical feminist and resented the implication that the National Council of Women was organizing the World's Congress. Sewall threatened to resign, but remained with the organizing group, who hosted a successful meeting. The weeklong World's Congress brought 126 national women’s organizations together from around the world. Its estimated attendance was more than 150,000.[47][48]....

In 1893, the city of Chicago hosted the World Columbian Exposition, an early world's fair. So many people were coming to Chicago from all over the world that many smaller conferences, called Congresses and Parliaments, were scheduled to take advantage of this unprecedented gathering. One of these was the World's Parliament of Religions, an initiative of the Swedenborgian layman (and judge) Charles Carroll Bonney.[5][6] The Parliament of Religions was by far the largest of the congresses held in conjunction with the Exposition.[7] John Henry Barrows, a clergyman, was appointed as the first chairman of the General Committee of the 1893 Parliament by Charles Bonney.[8]

-- Parliament of the World's Religions, by Wikipedia

Sewall was a member of a Unitarian church in Indianapolis, but psychic research had been an interest since the 1880s.[13][27] Sewall converted to spiritualism after attending a chautauqua meeting at Lily Dale, New York, in 1897.[57][58] At Lily Dale Sewall met with a spiritualist medium, who asked her to write several questions on bits of paper that Sewall claimed never left her hands. Sewall then selected a slate that was wiped clear and tied with her own handkerchief. When Sewall later opened the slate at her hotel, expecting it to be blank inside, she found responses to her questions were legibly written on the slate. From that time she claimed to have had regular communications with her deceased husband, Theodore, and communicated with other deceased family members, a noted Russian pianist named Anton Rubenstein, and Père Condé, who was a medieval priest and physician from France.[57][59]

Spiritualism first appeared in the 1840s in the "Burned-over District" of upstate New York, where earlier religious movements such as Millerism and Mormonism had emerged during the Second Great Awakening.

This region of New York State was an environment in which many thought direct communication with God or angels was possible, and that God would not behave harshly—for example, that God would not condemn unbaptised infants to an eternity in Hell.[1]

In this environment, the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) and the teachings of Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) provided an example for those seeking direct personal knowledge of the afterlife. Swedenborg, who claimed to communicate with spirits while awake, described the structure of the spirit world. Two features of his view particularly resonated with the early spiritualists: first, that there is not a single Hell and a single Heaven, but rather a series of higher and lower heavens and hells; second, that spirits are intermediates between God and humans, so that the divine sometimes uses them as a means of communication.[1] Although Swedenborg warned against seeking out spirit contact, his works seem to have inspired in others the desire to do so.

Swedenborg was formerly a highly regarded inventor and scientist, achieving several engineering innovations and studying physiology and anatomy. Then, “in 1741, he also began to have series of intense mystical experiences, dreams, and visions, claiming that he had been called by God to reform Christianity and introduce a new church."[10]

Mesmer did not contribute religious beliefs, but he brought a technique, later known as hypnotism, that it was claimed could induce trances and cause subjects to report contact with supernatural beings. There was a great deal of professional showmanship inherent to demonstrations of Mesmerism, and the practitioners who lectured in mid-19th-century North America sought to entertain their audiences as well as to demonstrate methods for personal contact with the divine.[1]

Perhaps the best known of those who combined Swedenborg and Mesmer in a peculiarly North American synthesis was Andrew Jackson Davis, who called his system the "harmonial philosophy". Davis was a practicing Mesmerist, faith healer and clairvoyant from Blooming Grove, New York. He was also strongly influenced by the socialist theories of Fourierism.[11] His 1847 book, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind,[12] dictated to a friend while in a trance state, eventually became the nearest thing to a canonical work in a spiritualist movement whose extreme individualism precluded the development of a single coherent worldview.[1][2]

-- Spiritualism, by Wikipedia

Following Sewall's retirement from public life in 1916, she wrote a book describing her psychic experiences. Neither Dead Nor Sleeping (1920) was published two months prior to her death in July 1920. Indiana author Booth Tarkington, who wrote the introduction to her book, assisted in getting Bobbs-Merrill Company to publish it.[60] The book received some positive reviews at the time of its publication. One New York Times Book Review described it as "striking" and "amazing is hardly too strong of a word." Other reviewers praised her sincerity.[61]

The book's publication surprised many people, especially those who knew Sewall, because it revealed a previously unknown side of her life that she had concealed from the public for nearly twenty-five years. Sewall provided two reasons for concealing her involvement in the spiritualism movement until the publication of her book. She claimed those who contacted her from the spirit world told her keep quiet, and the few living friends who did know about her communications with the dead thought she had imagined them.[62][63] Sewall explained her intent in publishing the book was to provide others with the "comfort of knowing the simplicity and naturalness of the life into which they passed" after their life on earth ended.[59]

-- May Wright Sewall, by Wikipedia

Ishbel Maria Hamilton-Gordon / 1904-1920 / Scotland
Pauline Chaponnière-Chaix / 1920-1922 / Switzerland
Ishbel Maria Hamilton-Gordon / 1922-1936 / Scotland
Marthe Boël / 1936-1947 / Belgium
Renée Girod / (interim) 1940-1945 / Switzerland
Jeanne Eder-Schwyzer / 1947-1957 / Switzerland
Marie-Hélène Lefaucheux / 1957-1963 / France
Mary McGeachy / 1963-1973 / Canada
Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi / 1973-1976 / Iran
Ngarmchit Purachatra / 1976-1979 / Thailand
Miriam Dell / 1979-1986 / New Zealand
Hong Sook-ja / 1986-1988 / South Korea
Lily Boeykens / 1988-1994 / Belgium
Kuraisin Sumhadi / 1994-1997 / Indonesia
Pnina Herzog / 1997-2003 / Israel
Anamah Tan / 2003-2009 / Singapore
Cosima Schenk / 2009-2015 / Switzerland
Jungsook Kim / 2015- / South Korea

During a visit to Europe in 1882, American suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony discussed the idea of an international women's organization with reformers in several countries. A committee of correspondence was formed to develop the idea further at a reception in their honor just before they returned home. The National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Anthony and Stanton, organized the founding meeting of the ICW, which convened in Washington, DC, on March 25, 1888. Representing Louisiana at the Woman's International Council was Caroline Elizabeth Merrick. The meeting was part of a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention.[1]

Rachel Foster Avery managed much of the details of the planning of the first meeting of the ICW, and Susan B. Anthony presided over eight of the sixteen sessions.[2] The ICW drafted a constitution and established national meetings every three years and international meetings every five years.

Millicent Garrett Fawcett of England was elected as first president but she refused to serve.

In 1894, the ICW met in Berlin, where Alix von Cotta said that many senior teachers stayed away.[3] In 1899, they met in London, UK.[4]

In the early years, the United States supported many of the expenses of the organization, and dues from U.S. members made up a significant part of the budget. Most meetings were held in Europe or North America, and they adopted the use of three official languages - English, French and German - which discouraged participation by women of non-European origin. The ICW did not actively promote women's suffrage, as to not upset the more conservative members.

International Woman Suffrage Alliance

After Anthony retired as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Carrie Chapman Catt, her chosen successor, began working toward an international women's suffrage association, one of Anthony's long-time goals. The existing International Council of Women could not be expected to support a campaign for women's suffrage because it was a broad alliance whose more conservative members would object. In 1902, Catt organized a preparatory meeting in Washington, with Anthony as chair, that was attended by delegates from several countries. Organized primarily by Catt, the International Woman Suffrage Alliance was created in Berlin in 1904. The founding meeting was chaired by Anthony, who was declared to be the new organization's honorary president and first member.[132] According to Anthony's authorized biographer, "no event ever gave Miss Anthony such profound satisfaction as this one".[133] Later renamed the International Alliance of Women, the organization is still active and is affiliated with the United Nations.[134]....

Changing relationship with Stanton

Anthony and Stanton worked together in a close and productive relationship. From 1880 to 1886 they were together almost every day working on the History of Woman Suffrage.[135] They referred to each other as "Susan" and "Mrs. Stanton".....

Their interests began to diverge somewhat as they grew older. As the drive for women's suffrage gained momentum, Anthony began to form alliances with more conservative groups, such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the nation's largest women's organization and a supporter of women's suffrage.[141] Such moves irritated Stanton, who said, "I get more radical as I get older, while she seems to grow more conservative."[142] In 1895 Stanton published The Woman's Bible, which attacked the use of the Bible to relegate women to an inferior status. It became a highly controversial best-seller. The NAWSA voted to disavow any connection with it despite Anthony's strong objection that such a move was unnecessary and hurtful.[143] Even so, Anthony refused to assist with the book's preparation, telling Stanton: "You say 'women must be emancipated from their superstitions before enfranchisement will have any benefit,' and I say just the reverse, that women must be enfranchised before they can be emancipated from their superstitions."[144] Despite such friction, their relationship continued to be close. When Stanton died in 1902, Anthony wrote to a friend: "Oh, this awful hush! It seems impossible that voice is stilled which I have loved to hear for fifty years. Always I have felt I must have Mrs. Stanton's opinion of things before I knew where I stood myself. I am all at sea..."[145]

-- Susan B. Anthony, by Wikipedia

Twentieth century

In 1904, at the Berlin congress of the ICW, a separate organization formed to accommodate the strong feminist identity of the national suffrage associations: the International Woman Suffrage Alliance.

In 1925, the ICW convened their first coalition, the Joint Standing Committee of the Women's International Organisations, to lobby for the appointment of women to the League of Nations. By 1931 the League of Nations called together a Women's Consultative Committee on Nationality to address the issue of a woman's rights (and nationality) when married to a man from another country.[5] Two additional coalitions were formed in 1931: the Liaison Committee and the Peace and Disarmament Committee. The ICW constitution was revised in 1936.[6] The ICW worked with the League of Nations during the 1920s and the United Nations post-World War II.

Present day

Today, the ICW holds Consultative Status with UNESCO, the highest accreditation an NGO can achieve at the United Nations. Currently, the ICW is composed of 70 countries and has a headquarters in Paris.[7] International meetings are held every three years.


Papers of the International Council of Women are held at The Women's Library.[8] Other papers are held at the United Nations Library in Geneva, the Library of Congress in Washington, the UNESCO archives in Paris, the International Information Centre and Archives for the Women's Movement in Amsterdam, the Archive Center for Women's History (CARHIF) in Brussels, the Sophia Smith Library at Smith College, Massachusetts, the Margaret Cousins Memorial library in New Delhi, and the Lady Aberdeen Collection in the University of Waterloo (Ontario) Library Special Collections.


National Council of Women of the United States was founded in 1888 at the first ICW gathering. The National Council of Women of Canada was founded in 1893. The National Council of French Women was created in 1901, the National Council of Italian Women in 1903,[9] and the National Council of Belgian Women in 1905.[10] The first National Council of Women of Australia was established in 1931 to coordinate the state bodies existing prior to Australia's Federation.

See also

• List of women's organizations
• Mapping the World of Women's Information Services


1. National Woman Suffrage Association (1888). Report of the International Council of Women: Assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, Washington, D. C., U. S. of America, March 25 to April 1, 1888 pp.9–11.
2. See the University of Rochester Libraries' Online Exhibit of Susan B. Anthony: Celebrating "An Heroic Life" Archived 2013-12-07 at the Wayback Machinefor images of the Report and Proceedings of the first ICW as well as letters from Susan B. Anthony about the planning process.
3. Letter from von Cotta, National Archives, Retrieved 29 December 2016
4. Helene Stöcker (2015): Lebenserinnerungen, hg. von Reinhold Lütgeeier-Davin u. Kerstin Wolff. Köln: Böhlau, 93; Helene Lange und Gertrud Bäumer: Handbuch der Fr auenbewegung. Berlin: Moeser, 1901, p. 151, ... 8/mode/2up.
5. See Dorothy P. Page, "'A Married Woman, or a Minor, Lunatic or Idiot': The Struggle of British Women against Disability in Nationality, 1914-1933," doctoral dissertation, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 1984.
6. The ICW Papers are housed at Smith College in the Sophia Smith Collection.
7. Contact Us, ICW web page
8. Library of the London School of Economics, ref 5ICW
9. "Consiglio Nazionale delle Donne Italiane" (in Italian). Consiglio Nazionale delle Donne Italiane. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
10. Jacques, Catherine (2009). "Le féminisme en Belgique de la fin du 19e siècle aux années 1970" (in French). Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP, No 2012-2013. Retrieved 13 February 2019.


• Beyers, Leen (2005), Des Femmes Qui Changent le Monde: Histoire du Conseil International des Femmes, 1888-1988, Bruxelles: Racine, ISBN 2-87386-399-4
• Rupp, Leila J. (1994), "Constructing Internationalism: The Case of Transnational Women's Organizations, 1888-1945", The American Historical Review, 99(5): 1571–1600, doi:10.2307/2168389, JSTOR 2168389
• Rupp, Leila J. (2011), "Transnational Women's Movements", European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History
• Schneider, Dorothy; Schneider, Carl J. (1993), "Chapter 8. Women's War Against War", American Women in the Progressive Era, 1900-1920, New York: Facts on File, ISBN 0-8160-2513-4

External links

• International Council of Women website
• Records of the International Council of Women - the Women's Library, London School of Economics
• International Archived records of the Council of Women, 1888-1959 at Smith College
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:27 pm

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19




The spiritualist movement traces its origins to the rappings and other phenomena attributed to spirits of the dead in the house of the Fox sisters of Hydesville (near Rochester), New York, in 1848. Once the Fox sisters determined that the rapping noises emanating from the walls and floors of their house were a kind of Morse code (the telegraph was a relatively new phenomenon at that tine), they began what the early historian of modern American spiritualism Emma Hardinge referred to in 1869 as "the achievement of a telegraphic communication between the visible and invisible worlds." [16] Once word spread that there was an easy method of contacting the dead, others attempted the same telegraphic method used by the Fox sisters and subsequently developed innovations (automatic writing, crystal gazing, possession trances, etc.) that led to new social and economic elites. A new social role emerged -- that of the medium -- who could dissociate and allow the spirits to speak directly through their vocal apparatus (the "mental medium") or induce spirits of the dead to write on slates, move planchettes, levitate furniture, or play accordions in the presence of flabbergasted clients (the "physical medium"). The most charismatic of this new class of mediums could in many instances attract a large following and become quite wealthy. By 1850 there were spiritualist circles surrounding mediums throughout New England and in other parts of the United States. By the early 1860s, spiritualism had become prominent in the parlors and salons of Europe. The horrific casualties of the American Civil War (1861-1865) stimulated the spiritualist movement in the United States, so that by the fin de siecle perhaps millions of individuals had, at one time or another, participated in such circles.

The allure of spiritualism was its simplicity and egalitarianism: almost anyone could attempt, with some margin of success, direct communication with the dead, and spiritualist circles and (later) organizations and "churches" (with Christian-oriented services) were open to anyone with "the will to believe," to use the words of William James (1842-1910), a student and explorer of the phenomena of spiritualism. [17] Seances could be held right in your own home at any time. The bureaucracy of Christianity, with its layers upon layers of mediators and its official discouragement of direct mystical experience, could thus be circumvented. Christianity supplied the theory; spiritualism provided the praxis, with technical assistance from Mesmerism, which taught hypnotic-induction techniques that could be used by aspiring mediums for entering trances.18 Jung, as is well known, had a very early interest in spiritualism and attended many seances throughout his life. Jung used such hypnotic induction procedures to place his cousin Helene Preiswerk into mediumistic trances during the seances he attended with her in the 1890s.

Women rose to positions of significant influence in spiritualist circles. It was there that they could assume spiritual leadership roles denied them by the patriarchal structure of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. Women not only comprised the majority of the most gifted mental and physical mediums, but they provided the organizational and financial support of the movement as well. Perhaps the single most influential woman in occultist circles in the nineteenth century (and in many ways, arguably the most influential woman in Europe and America at the time), was a Russian emigre to the United States, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), spiritualist medium and the founder of the Theosophical movement.


Little is known of the first four decades of Blavatsky's life, although several biographers have attempted to fill in the gaps.19 She arrived in New York in the summer of 1873, apparently penniless, traveling steerage from France. Blavatsky was, by all accounts, a highly intelligent and canny individual, and before long she had secured an apartment on Irving Place in New York where she conducted spiritualist seances as a source of income. She produced both physical and mental phenomena: levitation, materializations, and messages from the deceased. Like most mediums, she had a "control" or "spirit guide," whom she met while in her trances and who supplied her with information from the beyond. Her first control was named John King, and she often referred to him as her "Holy Guardian Angel." Later, whenever she entered trances she began to have more frequent contact with a collection of guru-like "ascended masters," known as the "brothers" who were spiritual beings that existed in their sanctuary in Tibet. She became their disciple, their tulku, and began to dispense their teachings to her clients.

-- The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, by Richard Noll

By 1853, when the popular song "Spirit Rappings" was published, spiritualism was an object of intense curiosity.


Western General: Divine illumination, Panpsychism, Pantheism
Antiquity: Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Western esotericism
Medieval: Mysticism
Early modern: Perennial philosophy Jakob Böhme, Emanuel Swedenborg, Pietism
Modern: Romanticism, German idealism, Liberal Christianity, Transcendentalism, Universalism, New Thought, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Occultism, Spiritualism, Esoteric Christianity, New Age

Spiritualism is a religious movement based on the belief that the spirits of the dead exist and have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. The afterlife, or the "spirit world", is seen by spiritualists, not as a static place, but as one in which spirits continue to evolve. These two beliefs — that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits are more advanced than humans — lead spiritualists to a third belief, that spirits are capable of providing useful knowledge about moral and ethical issues, as well as about the nature of God. Some spiritualists will speak of a concept which they refer to as "spirit guides"—specific spirits, often contacted, who are relied upon for spiritual guidance.[1][2] Spiritism, a branch of spiritualism developed by Allan Kardec and today practiced mostly in Continental Europe and Latin America, especially in Brazil, emphasizes reincarnation.[3]

Spiritualism developed and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-speaking countries.[2][4] By 1897, spiritualism was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe,[5] mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes.

Spiritualism flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal organization, attaining cohesion through periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp meetings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums. Many prominent spiritualists were women, and like most spiritualists, supported causes such as the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.[2] By the late 1880s the credibility of the informal movement had weakened due to accusations of fraud perpetrated by mediums, and formal spiritualist organizations began to appear.[2] Spiritualism is currently practiced primarily through various denominational spiritualist churches in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.


Mediumship and spirits

Spiritualists believe in the possibility of communication with the spirits of dead people, whom they regard as "discarnate humans". They believe that spirit mediums are gifted to carry on such communication, but that anyone may become a medium through study and practice. They believe that spirits are capable of growth and perfection, progressing through higher spheres or planes, and that the afterlife is not a static state, but one in which spirits evolve. The two beliefs—that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits may dwell on a higher plane—lead to a third belief, that spirits can provide knowledge about moral and ethical issues, as well as about God and the afterlife. Many believers therefore speak of "spirit guides"—specific spirits, often contacted, and relied upon for worldly and spiritual guidance.[1][2]

According to spiritualists, anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions (séances) are held by mediums, who claim thereby to receive information about the afterlife.[1]

Religious views

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians with witchcraft. This 1865 broadsheet, published in the United States, also blamed spiritualism for causing the American Civil War.

Declaration of Principles

As an informal movement, spiritualism does not have a defined set of rules, but various spiritualist organizations have adopted variations on some or all of a "Declaration of Principles" developed between 1899 and 1944 and revised as recently as 2004.[6] In October 1899, a six article "Declaration of Principles" was adopted by the National Spiritualist Association (NSA) at a convention in Chicago, Illinois.[7][8] An additional two principles were added by the NSA in October 1909, at a convention in Rochester, New York.[9] Finally, in October 1944, a ninth principle was adopted by the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, at a convention in St. Louis, Missouri.[6]

1. We believe in Infinite Intelligence.

2. We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.

3. We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith, constitute true religion.

4. We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.

5. We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.

6. We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

7. We affirm the moral responsibility of individuals and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.

8. We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any soul here or hereafter.

9. We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.


Spiritualism first appeared in the 1840s in the "Burned-over District" of upstate New York, where earlier religious movements such as Millerism and Mormonism had emerged during the Second Great Awakening.

This region of New York State was an environment in which many thought direct communication with God or angels was possible, and that God would not behave harshly—for example, that God would not condemn unbaptised infants to an eternity in Hell.[1]

Swedenborg and Mesmer

Hypnotic Séance. Painting by Swedish artist Richard Bergh, 1887.

In this environment, the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) and the teachings of Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) provided an example for those seeking direct personal knowledge of the afterlife. Swedenborg, who claimed to communicate with spirits while awake, described the structure of the spirit world. Two features of his view particularly resonated with the early spiritualists: first, that there is not a single Hell and a single Heaven, but rather a series of higher and lower heavens and hells; second, that spirits are intermediates between God and humans, so that the divine sometimes uses them as a means of communication.[1] Although Swedenborg warned against seeking out spirit contact, his works seem to have inspired in others the desire to do so.

Swedenborg was formerly a highly regarded inventor and scientist, achieving several engineering innovations and studying physiology and anatomy. Then, “in 1741, he also began to have series of intense mystical experiences, dreams, and visions, claiming that he had been called by God to reform Christianity and introduce a new church."[10]

Mesmer did not contribute religious beliefs, but he brought a technique, later known as hypnotism, that it was claimed could induce trances and cause subjects to report contact with supernatural beings. There was a great deal of professional showmanship inherent to demonstrations of Mesmerism, and the practitioners who lectured in mid-19th-century North America sought to entertain their audiences as well as to demonstrate methods for personal contact with the divine.[1]

Perhaps the best known of those who combined Swedenborg and Mesmer in a peculiarly North American synthesis was Andrew Jackson Davis, who called his system the "harmonial philosophy". Davis was a practicing Mesmerist, faith healer and clairvoyant from Blooming Grove, New York. He was also strongly influenced by the socialist theories of Fourierism.[11] His 1847 book, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind,[12] dictated to a friend while in a trance state, eventually became the nearest thing to a canonical work in a spiritualist movement whose extreme individualism precluded the development of a single coherent worldview.[1][2]

Emanuel Swedenborg

Franz Mesmer

Andrew Jackson Davis, about 1860

Reform-movement links

The Fox sisters

Spiritualists often set March 31, 1848, as the beginning of their movement. On that date, Kate and Margaret Fox, of Hydesville, New York, reported that they had made contact with a spirit that was later claimed to be the spirit of a murdered peddler whose body was found in the house, though no record of such a person was ever found. The spirit was said to have communicated through rapping noises, audible to onlookers. The evidence of the senses appealed to practically-minded Americans, and the Fox sisters became a sensation. As the first celebrity mediums, the sisters quickly became famous for their public séances in New York.[13] However, in 1888 the Fox sisters admitted that this "contact" with the spirit was a hoax, though shortly afterward they recanted that admission.[1][2]

Amy and Isaac Post, Hicksite Quakers from Rochester, New York, had long been acquainted with the Fox family, and took the two girls into their home in the late spring of 1848. Immediately convinced of the veracity of the sisters' communications, they became early converts and introduced the young mediums to their circle of radical Quaker friends.[14]

Cora L. V. Scott

Paschal Beverly Randolph

Consequently, many early participants in spiritualism were radical Quakers and others involved in the mid-nineteenth-century reforming movement. These reformers were uncomfortable with more prominent churches because those churches did little to fight slavery and even less to advance the cause of women's rights.[2]

Such links with reform movements, often radically socialist, had already been prepared in the 1840s, as the example of Andrew Jackson Davis shows. After 1848, many socialists became ardent spiritualists or occultists.[15] Socialist ideas, especially in the Fourierist vein, exerted a decisive influence on Kardec and other Spiritists.

The most popular trance lecturer prior to the American Civil War was Cora L. V. Scott (1840–1923). Young and beautiful, her appearance on stage fascinated men. Her audiences were struck by the contrast between her physical girlishness and the eloquence with which she spoke of spiritual matters, and found in that contrast support for the notion that spirits were speaking through her. Cora married four times, and on each occasion adopted her husband's last name. During her period of greatest activity, she was known as Cora Hatch.[2]

Another famous woman spiritualist was Achsa W. Sprague, who was born November 17, 1827, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. At the age of 20, she became ill with rheumatic fever and credited her eventual recovery to intercession by spirits. An extremely popular trance lecturer, she traveled about the United States until her death in 1861. Sprague was an abolitionist and an advocate of women's rights.[2]

Yet another prominent spiritualist and trance medium prior to the Civil War was Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825–1875), a man of mixed race, who also played a part in the abolitionist movement.[16] Nevertheless, many abolitionists and reformers held themselves aloof from the spiritualist movement; among the skeptics was the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass.[17]

Another social reform movement with significant Spiritualist involvement was the effort to improve conditions of Native Americans. As Kathryn Troy notes in a study of Indian ghosts in seances:

Undoubtedly, on some level Spiritualists recognized the Indian spectres that appeared at seances as a symbol of the sins and subsequent guilt of the United States in its dealings with Native Americans. Spiritualists were literally haunted by the presence of Indians. But for many that guilt was not assuaged: rather, in order to confront the haunting and rectify it, they were galvanized into action. The political activism of Spiritualists on behalf of Indians was thus the result of combining white guilt and fear of divine judgment with a new sense of purpose and responsibility.[18]

Believers and skeptics

In the years following the sensation that greeted the Fox sisters, demonstrations of mediumship (séances and automatic writing, for example) proved to be a profitable venture, and soon became popular forms of entertainment and spiritual catharsis. The Fox sisters were to earn a living this way and others would follow their lead.[1][2] Showmanship became an increasingly important part of spiritualism, and the visible, audible, and tangible evidence of spirits escalated as mediums competed for paying audiences. As independent investigating commissions repeatedly established, most notably the 1887 report of the Seybert Commission,[19] fraud was widespread, and some of these cases were prosecuted in the courts.[20]

Despite numerous instances of chicanery, the appeal of spiritualism was strong. Prominent in the ranks of its adherents were those grieving the death of a loved one. Many families during the time of the American Civil War had seen their men go off and never return, and images of the battlefield, produced through the new medium of photography, demonstrated that their loved ones had not only died in overwhelmingly huge numbers, but horribly as well. One well known case is that of Mary Todd Lincoln who, grieving the loss of her son, organized séances in the White House which were attended by her husband, President Abraham Lincoln.[17] The surge of spiritualism during this time, and later during World War I, was a direct response to those massive battlefield casualties.[21]

In addition, the movement appealed to reformers, who fortuitously found that the spirits favored such causes du jour as abolition of slavery, and equal rights for women.[2] It also appealed to some who had a materialist orientation and rejected organized religion. In 1854 the utopian socialist Robert Owen was converted to spiritualism after "sittings" with the American medium Maria B. Hayden (credited with introducing spiritualism to England); Owen made a public profession of his new faith in his publication The Rational quarterly review and later wrote a pamphlet, The future of the Human race; or great glorious and future revolution to be effected through the agency of departed spirits of good and superior men and women.[22]

Frank Podmore, ca. 1895.

William Crookes. Photo published 1904.

Harry Price, 1922.

Many scientists who investigated the phenomenon also became converts.[citation needed] They included chemist and physicist William Crookes (1832–1919) and evolutionary biologist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913).[23] Nobel laureate Pierre Curie was impressed by the mediumistic performances of Eusapia Palladino and advocated their scientific study.[24] Other prominent adherents included journalist and pacifist William T. Stead (1849–1912)[25] and physician and author Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930).[21]

Doyle, who lost his son Kingsley in World War I, was also a member of the Ghost Club. Founded in London in 1862, its focus was the scientific study of alleged paranormal activities in order to prove (or refute) the existence of paranormal phenomena. Famous members of the club included Charles Dickens, Sir William Crookes, Sir William F. Barrett, and Harry Price.[26] The Paris séances of Eusapia Palladino were attended by an enthusiastic Pierre Curie and a dubious Marie Curie. The celebrated New York City physician, John Franklin Gray, was a prominent spiritualist.[27]

The claims of spiritualists and others as to the reality of ghosts were investigated by the Society for Psychical Research, founded in London in 1882. The society set up a Committee on Haunted Houses.[28]

Prominent investigators who exposed cases of fraud came from a variety of backgrounds, including professional researchers such as Frank Podmore of the Society for Psychical Research and Harry Price of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, and professional conjurers such as John Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne exposed the Davenport brothers by appearing in the audience during their shows and explaining how the trick was done.

Houdini exposed the tricks of "mediums".

The psychical researcher Hereward Carrington exposed fraudulent mediums' tricks, such as those used in slate-writing, table-turning, trumpet mediumship, materializations, sealed-letter reading, and spirit photography.[29] The skeptic Joseph McCabe, in his book Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud? (1920), documented many fraudulent mediums and their tricks.[30]

Magicians and writers on magic have a long history of exposing the fraudulent methods of mediumship. During the 1920s, professional magician Harry Houdini undertook a well-publicised campaign to expose fraudulent mediums; he was adamant that "Up to the present time everything that I have investigated has been the result of deluded brains."[31] Other magician or magic-author debunkers of spiritualist mediumship have included Chung Ling Soo,[32] Henry Evans,[33] Julien Proskauer,[34] Fulton Oursler,[35] Joseph Dunninger,[36] and Joseph Rinn.[37]

In February 1921 Thomas Lynn Bradford, in an experiment designed to ascertain the existence of an afterlife, committed suicide in his apartment by blowing out the pilot light on his heater and turning on the gas. After that date, no further communication from him was received by an associate whom he had recruited for the purpose.[38]

Unorganized movement

The movement quickly spread throughout the world; though only in the United Kingdom did it become as widespread as in the United States.[4] Spiritualist organizations were formed in America and Europe, such as the London Spiritualist Alliance, which published a newspaper called The Light, featuring articles such as "Evenings at Home in Spiritual Séance", "Ghosts in Africa" and "Chronicles of Spirit Photography", advertisements for "Mesmerists" and patent medicines, and letters from readers about personal contact with ghosts.[39] In Britain, by 1853, invitations to tea among the prosperous and fashionable often included table-turning, a type of séance in which spirits were said to communicate with people seated around a table by tilting and rotating the table. One prominent convert was the French pedagogist Allan Kardec (1804–1869), who made the first attempt to systematise the movement's practices and ideas into a consistent philosophical system. Kardec's books, written in the last 15 years of his life, became the textual basis of spiritism, which became widespread in Latin countries. In Brazil, Kardec's ideas are embraced by many followers today.[1][2][40] In Puerto Rico, Kardec's books were widely read by the upper classes, and eventually gave birth to a movement known as mesa blanca (white table).

Middle-class Chicago women discuss spiritualism (1906)

Spiritualism was mainly a middle- and upper-class movement, and especially popular with women. American spiritualists would meet in private homes for séances, at lecture halls for trance lectures, at state or national conventions, and at summer camps attended by thousands. Among the most significant of the camp meetings were Camp Etna, in Etna, Maine; Onset Bay Grove, in Onset, Massachusetts; Lily Dale, in western New York State; Camp Chesterfield, in Indiana; the Wonewoc Spiritualist Camp, in Wonewoc, Wisconsin; and Lake Pleasant, in Montague, Massachusetts. In founding camp meetings, the spiritualists appropriated a form developed by U.S. Protestant denominations in the early nineteenth century. Spiritualist camp meetings were located most densely in New England, but were also established across the upper Midwest. Cassadaga, Florida, is the most notable spiritualist camp meeting in the southern states.[1][2][41]

A number of spiritualist periodicals appeared in the nineteenth century, and these did much to hold the movement together. Among the most important were the weeklies the Banner of Light (Boston), the Religio-Philosophical Journal (Chicago), Mind and Matter (Philadelphia), the Spiritualist (London), and the Medium (London). Other influential periodicals were the Revue Spirite (France), Le Messager (Belgium), Annali dello Spiritismo (Italy), El Criterio Espiritista (Spain), and the Harbinger of Light (Australia). By 1880, there were about three dozen monthly spiritualist periodicals published around the world.[42] These periodicals differed a great deal from each other, reflecting the great differences among spiritualists. Some, such as the British Spiritual Magazine were Christian and conservative, openly rejecting the reform currents so strong within spiritualism. Others, such as Human Nature, were pointedly non-Christian and supportive of socialism and reform efforts. Still others, such as the Spiritualist, attempted to view spiritualist phenomena from a scientific perspective, eschewing discussion on both theological and reform issues.[43]

Books on the supernatural were published for the growing middle class, such as 1852's Mysteries, by Charles Elliott, which contains "sketches of spirits and spiritual things", including accounts of the Salem witch trials, the Cock Lane Ghost, and the Rochester rappings.[44] The Night Side of Nature, by Catherine Crowe, published in 1853, provided definitions and accounts of wraiths, doppelgangers, apparitions and haunted houses.[45]

Mainstream newspapers treated stories of ghosts and haunting as they would any other news story. An account in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1891, "sufficiently bloody to suit the most fastidious taste", tells of a house believed to be haunted by the ghosts of three murder victims seeking revenge against their killer's son, who was eventually driven insane. Many families, "having no faith in ghosts", thereafter moved into the house, but all soon moved out again.[46] In the 1920s many "psychic" books were published of varied quality. Such books were often based on excursions initiated by the use of Ouija boards. A few of these popular books displayed unorganized spiritualism, though most were less insightful.[47]

The movement was extremely individualistic, with each person relying on his or her own experiences and reading to discern the nature of the afterlife. Organisation was therefore slow to appear, and when it did it was resisted by mediums and trance lecturers. Most members were content to attend Christian churches, and particularly universalist churches harbored many spiritualists.

As the spiritualism movement began to fade, partly through the publicity of fraud accusations and partly through the appeal of religious movements such as Christian science, the Spiritualist Church was organised. This church can claim to be the main vestige of the movement left today in the United States.[1][2]

Other mediums

Emma Hardinge Britten

London-born Emma Hardinge Britten (1823–99) moved to the United States in 1855 and was active in spiritualist circles as a trance lecturer and organiser. She is best known as a chronicler of the movement's spread, especially in her 1884 Nineteenth Century Miracles: Spirits and Their Work in Every Country of the Earth, and her 1870 Modern American Spiritualism, a detailed account of claims and investigations of mediumship beginning with the earliest days of the movement.

William Stainton Moses (1839–92) was an Anglican clergyman who, in the period from 1872 to 1883, filled 24 notebooks with automatic writing, much of which was said to describe conditions in the spirit world. However, Frank Podmore was skeptical of his alleged ability to communicate with spirits and Joseph McCabe described Moses as a "deliberate impostor", suggesting his apports and all of his feats were the result of trickery.[48][49]

Adelma Vay (1840–1925), Hungarian (by origin) spiritistic medium, homeopath and clairvoyant, authored many books about spiritism, written in German and translated into English.

Eusapia Palladino (1854–1918) was an Italian spiritualist medium from the slums of Naples who made a career touring Italy, France, Germany, Britain, the United States, Russia and Poland. Palladino was said by believers to perform spiritualist phenomena in the dark: levitating tables, producing apports, and materializing spirits. On investigation, all these things were found to be products of trickery.[50][51]

The British medium William Eglinton (1857–1933) claimed to perform spiritualist phenomena such as movement of objects and materializations. All of his feats were exposed as tricks.[52][53]

The Bangs Sisters, Mary "May" E. Bangs (1862-1917) and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Snow Bangs (1859-1920), were two spiritualist mediums based in Chicago, who made a career out of painting the dead or "Spirit Portraits".

Mina Crandon (1888–1941), a spiritualist medium in the 1920s, was known for producing an ectoplasm hand during her séances. The hand was later exposed as a trick when biologists found it to be made from a piece of carved animal liver.[54] In 1934, the psychical researcher Walter Franklin Prince described the Crandon case as "the most ingenious, persistent, and fantastic complex of fraud in the history of psychic research."[55]

Helen Duncan

The American voice medium Etta Wriedt (1859-1942) was exposed as a fraud by the physicist Kristian Birkeland when he discovered that the noises produced by her trumpet were caused by chemical explosions induced by potassium and water and in other cases by lycopodium powder.[56]

Another well-known medium was the Scottish materialization medium Helen Duncan (1897–1956). In 1928 photographer Harvey Metcalfe attended a series of séances at Duncan's house and took flash photographs of Duncan and her alleged "materialization" spirits, including her spirit guide "Peggy".[57] The photographs revealed the "spirits" to have been fraudulently produced, using dolls made from painted papier-mâché masks, draped in old sheets.[58] Duncan was later tested by Harry Price at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research; photographs revealed Duncan's ectoplasm to be made from cheesecloth, rubber gloves, and cut-out heads from magazine covers.[59][60]


Spiritualists reacted with an uncertainty to the theories of evolution in the late 19th and early 20th century. Broadly speaking the concept of evolution fitted the spiritualist thought of the progressive development of humanity. At the same time however, the belief in the animal origins of humanity threatened the foundation of the immortality of the spirit, for if humans had not been created by God, it was scarcely plausible that they would be specially endowed with spirits. This led to spiritualists embracing spiritual evolution.[61]

The spiritualists' view of evolution did not stop at death. Spiritualism taught that after death spirits progressed to spiritual states in new spheres of existence. According to spiritualists evolution occurred in the spirit world "at a rate more rapid and under conditions more favourable to growth" than encountered on earth.[62]

In a talk at the London Spiritualist Alliance, John Page Hopps (1834–1911) supported both evolution and spiritualism. Hopps claimed humanity had started off imperfect "out of the animal's darkness" but would rise into the "angel's marvellous light". Hopps claimed humans were not fallen but rising creatures and that after death they would evolve on a number of spheres of existence to perfection.[62]

Theosophy is in opposition to the spiritualist interpretation of evolution. Theosophy teaches a metaphysical theory of evolution mixed with human devolution. Spiritualists do not accept the devolution of the theosophists. To theosophy humanity starts in a state of perfection (see Golden age) and falls into a process of progressive materialization (devolution), developing the mind and losing the spiritual consciousness. After the gathering of experience and growth through repeated reincarnations humanity will regain the original spiritual state, which is now one of self-conscious perfection. Theosophy and spiritualism were both very popular metaphysical schools of thought especially in the early 20th century and thus were always clashing in their different beliefs. Madame Blavatsky was critical of spiritualism; she distanced theosophy from spiritualism as far as she could and allied herself with eastern occultism.[63]

Gerald Massey

The spiritualist Gerald Massey claimed that Darwin's theory of evolution was incomplete:

The theory contains only one half the explanation of man's origins and needs spiritualism to carry it through and complete it. For while this ascent on the physical side has been progressing through myriads of ages, the Divine descent has also been going on—man being spiritually an incarnation from the Divine as well as a human development from the animal creation. The cause of the development is spiritual. Mr. Darwin's theory does not in the least militate against ours—we think it necessitates it; he simply does not deal with our side of the subject. He can not go lower than the dust of the earth for the matter of life; and for us, the main interest of our origin must lie in the spiritual domain.[64]

Spiritualists believed that without spiritualism "the doctrine of Darwin is a broken link". Gerald Massey said "Spiritualism will accept evolution, and carry it out and make both ends meet in the perfect circle".[65]

A famous medium who rejected evolution was Cora L. V. Scott, she dismissed evolution in her lectures and instead supported a type of pantheistic spiritualism.[66]

Alfred Russel Wallace believed qualitative novelties could arise through the process of spiritual evolution, in particular the phenomena of life and mind. Wallace attributed these novelties to a supernatural agency.[67] Later in his life, Wallace was an advocate of spiritualism and believed in an immaterial origin for the higher mental faculties of humans, he believed that evolution suggested that the universe had a purpose, and that certain aspects of living organisms are not explainable in terms of purely materialistic processes, in a 1909 magazine article entitled "The World of Life", which he later expanded into a book of the same name.[68] Wallace argued in his 1911 book World of Life for a spiritual approach to evolution and described evolution as "creative power, directive mind and ultimate purpose". Wallace believed natural selection could not explain intelligence or morality in the human being so suggested that non-material spiritual forces accounted for these. Wallace believed the spiritual nature of humanity could not have come about by natural selection alone, the origins of the spiritual nature must originate "in the unseen universe of spirit".[69][70]

Oliver Lodge also promoted a version of spiritual evolution in his books Man and the Universe (1908), Making of Man (1924) and Evolution and Creation (1926). The spiritualist element in the synthesis was most prominent in Lodge's 1916 book Raymond, or Life and Death which revived a large interest for public in the paranormal.[71]

After the 1920s

After the 1920s, spiritualism evolved in three different directions, all of which exist today.


The first of these continued the tradition of individual practitioners, organised in circles centered on a medium and clients, without any hierarchy or dogma. Already by the late 19th century spiritualism had become increasingly syncretic, a natural development in a movement without central authority or dogma.[2] Today, among these unorganised circles, spiritualism is similar to the new age movement. However, theosophy with its inclusion of Eastern religion, astrology, ritual magic and reincarnation is an example of a closer precursor of the 20th century new age movement.[72] Today's syncretic spiritualists are quite heterogeneous in their beliefs regarding issues such as reincarnation or the existence of God. Some appropriate new age and neo-pagan beliefs, while others call themselves "Christian spiritualists", continuing with the tradition of cautiously incorporating spiritualist experiences into their Christian faith.

Spiritualist church

The second direction taken has been to adopt formal organization, patterned after Christian denominations, with established liturgies and a set of seven principles, and training requirements for mediums. In the United States the spiritualist churches are primarily affiliated either with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches or the loosely allied group of denominations known as the spiritual church movement; in the U.K. the predominant organization is the Spiritualists' National Union, founded in 1890.

Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes

Formal education in spiritualist practice emerged in 1920s, with organizations like the William T. Stead Center in Chicago, Illinois, and continue today with the Arthur Findlay College at Stansted Hall in England, and the Morris Pratt Institute in Wisconsin, United States.

Diversity of belief among organized spiritualists has led to a few schisms, the most notable occurring in the U.K. in 1957 between those who held the movement to be a religion sui generis (of its own with unique characteristics), and a minority who held it to be a denomination within Christianity. In the United States, this distinction can be seen between the less Christian organization, the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, and the more Christian spiritual church movement.

The practice of organized spiritualism today resembles that of any other religion, having discarded most showmanship, particularly those elements resembling the conjurer's art. There is thus a much greater emphasis on "mental" mediumship and an almost complete avoidance of the apparently miraculous "materializing" mediumship that so fascinated early believers such as Arthur Conan Doyle.[41] The first spiritualist church in Australia was the United Stanmore & Enmore Spiritualist Church[73] established in 1913. In 1921, Conan Doyle gave a farewell to Australia speech there.

Psychical research

Already as early as 1882, with the founding of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), parapsychologists emerged to investigate spiritualist claims.[74] The SPR's investigations into spiritualism exposed many fraudulent mediums which contributed to the decline of interest in physical mediumship.[75]

See also

• Camp Chesterfield
• List of Spiritualist organizations
• Spiritism
• Spiritism
• Spiritualism in fiction


1. Carroll, Bret E. (1997). Spiritualism in Antebellum America. (Religion in North America). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-253-33315-5.
2. Braude, Ann Braude (2001). Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America, Second Edition. Indiana University Press. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-253-21502-4.
3. [1] Allan Kardec, The Spirits' Book, Containing the Principles of Spiritist Doctrine... according to the Teachings of Spirits of High Degree, Transmitted through Various Mediums, Collected and Set in Order by Allan Kardec, translated by Anna Blackwell, São Paulo, Brasil, Federação Espírita Brasileira, 1996, ISBN 85-7328-022-0, p. 33.
4. Britten, Emma Hardinge (1884). Nineteenth Century Miracles: Spirits and Their Work in Every Country of the Earth. New York: William Britten. ISBN 978-0-7661-6290-7.
5. Times, New York (29 November 1897). "THREE FORMS OF THOUGHT; M.M. Mangassarian Addresses the Society for Ethical Culture at Carnegie Music Hall". The New York Times: 200.
6. Leonard, Todd Jay (2005). Talking to the Other Side: a History of Modern Spiritualism And Mediumship: A Study of the Religion, Science, Philosophy And Mediums That Encompass This American-made Religion. iUniverse. pp. 84–89. ISBN 978-0-595-36353-7.
7. Campbell, Geo.; Hardy, Thomas; Milmokre, Jas. (June 6, 1900). "Baer-Spiritualistic Challenge". Nanaimo Free Press. 27 (44). Nanaimo, Canada: Geo. Norris. p. 2 – via
8. National Spiritualist Association (1934) [1911]. Spiritualist Manual (5 ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Printing Products Corporation. p. 20.
9. Lawton, George (1932). The Drama of Life After Death: A Study of the Spiritualist Religion. Henry Holt and Company. p. 148.
10. Urban, Hugh B. (2015). New Age, Neopagan and New Religious Movements. Oakland, California: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520281189.
11. Catherine Albanese. (2007). A Republic of Mind and Spirit. A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion. Yale University Press. pp. 171-176, 208-218.
12. The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind, Andrew Jackson Davis, 1847.
13. Barbara., Weisberg (2004). Talking to the dead : Kate and Maggie Fox and the rise of spiritualism (1st ed.). [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 9780060566678. OCLC 54939577.
14. Ann., Braude (2001). Radical spirits : spiritualism and women's rights in nineteenth-century America (2nd ed.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253215024. OCLC 47785582.
15. Strube, Julian (2016). "Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: A genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France". Religion. 46 (3): 359–388. doi:10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926.
16. Deveney, John Patrick (1997). Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician. Sunny Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3119-1.
17. Telegrams from the Dead (a PBS television documentary in the "American Experience" series, first aired October 19, 1994).
18. Kathryn Troy, The Specter of the Indian. SUNY 2017. p.151.
19. Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University of Pennsylvania, The Seybert Commission, 1887. 2004-04-01.
20. Williams, Montagu Stephen. 1891. Later Leaves: Being the Further Reminiscences of Montagu Williams. Macmillan. See chapter 8.
21. Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism Vol I, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1926.
22. Lewis Spence, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Kessinger Publishing Company, 2003, p. 679.
23. "The Scientific Aspect of the Supernatural, by Alfred Russel Wallace".
24. Anna Hurwic, Pierre Curie, translated by Lilananda Dasa and Joseph Cudnik, Paris, Flammarion, 1995, pp. 65, 66, 68, 247-48.
25. "W.T. Stead and Spiritualism—The W.T. Stead Resource Site".
26. Underwood, Peter (1978) "Dictionary of the Supernatural", Harrap Ltd., ISBN 0-245-52784-2, Page 144
27. "The spiritual magazine". 1871.
28. John Fairley, Simon Welfare (1984). Arthur C. Clarke's world of strange powers, Volume 3. Putnam. ISBN 978-0-399-13066-3.
29. Hereward Carrington. (1907). The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism. Herbert B. Turner & Co.
30. Joseph McCabe. (1920). Is Spiritualism based on Fraud?: The Evidence Given by Sir A.C. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. London: Watts & Co.
31. A Magician Among the Spirits, Harry Houdini, Arno Press (June 1987), ISBN 0-405-02801-6
32. Chung Ling Soo. (1898). Spirit Slate Writing and Kindred Phenomena. Munn & Company.
33. Henry Evans. (1897). Hours With the Ghosts Or Nineteenth Century Witchcraft. Kessinger Publishing.
34. Julien Proskauer. (1932). Spook crooks! Exposing the secrets of the prophet-eers who conduct our wickedest industry. New York, A. L. Burt.
35. Fulton Oursler. (1930). Spirit Mediums Exposed. New York: Macfadden Publications.
36. Joseph Dunninger. (1935). Inside the Medium's Cabinet. New York, D. Kemp and Company.
37. Joseph Rinn. (1950). Sixty Years Of Psychical Research: Houdini And I Among The Spiritualists. Truth Seeker.
38. "DEAD SPIRITUALIST SILENT.; Detroit Woman Awaits Message, but Denies Any Compact". The New York Times. Detroit. February 8, 1921. p. 3.
39. The Light: A Journal Devoted to the Highest Interests of Humanity, both Here and Hereafter, Vol I, January to December 1881, London Spiritualist Alliance, Eclectic Publishing Company: London, 1882.
40. Hess, David (1987). "Spiritism and Science in Brazil". Ph.D thesis, Dept. of Anthropology, Cornell University.
41. Guthrie, John J. Jr.; Phillip Charles Lucas; Gary Monroe (2000). Cassadaga: the South's Oldest Spiritualist Community. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-1743-3.
42. (Harrison 1880: 6)
43. (Alvarado, Biondi, and Kramer 2006: 61–63)
44. Charles Wyllys Elliott, Mysteries, or Glimpses of the Supernatural, Harper & Bros: New York, 1852.
45. Catherine Crowe, The Night Side of Nature, or Ghosts and Ghost-seers, Redfield: New York, 1853.
46. "Dreadful Tale of a Haunted Man in Newton County, Missouri", Chicago Daily Tribune, January 4, 1891.
47. White, Stewart Edward (March 1943). The Betty Book. USA: E. P. Dutton & CO., Inc. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-0-89804-151-4.
48. Frank Podmore. (1902). Modern Spiritualism: A History and a Criticism. Volume 2. Methuen & Company. pp. 283-287 "It seems reasonable to conclude that all the marvels reported at [Moses] seances were, in fact, produced by the medium's own hands: that it was he who tilted the table and produced the raps, that the scents, the seed pearls, and the Parian statuettes were brought into the room in his pockets: and that the spirit lights were, in fact, nothing more than bottles of phosphorised oil. Nor would the feats described have required any special skill on the medium's part."
49. Joseph McCabe. (1920). Spiritualism: A Popular History From 1847. Dodd, Mead and Company. pp. 151-173
50. Joseph Jastrow. (1918). The Psychology of Conviction. Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 101-127
51. Walter Mann. (1919). The Follies and Frauds of Spiritualism. Rationalist Association. London: Watts & Co. pp. 115-130
52. Montague Summers. (2010). Physical Phenomena of Mysticism. Kessinger Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-1161363654. Also see Barry Wiley. (2012). The Thought Reader Craze: Victorian Science at the Enchanted Boundary. McFarland. p. 35. ISBN 978-0786464708
53. Simeon Edmunds. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0850300130 "1876 also saw the first of several exposures of another physical medium, William Eglington, in whose trunk a false beard and a quantity of muslin were found by Archdeacon Colley. He was exposed again in 1880, after which he turned to slate-writing. In this he was exposed by Richard Hodgson and S. J. Davey of the SPR in 1885. Davey a clever conjuror, was able to duplicate all Eglington's phenomena so perfectly that some spiritualists, notably Alfred Russel Wallace, insisted that he too was really a genuine medium."
54. Brian Righi. (2008). Ghosts, Apparitions and Poltergeists: An Exploration of the Supernatural through History. Llewellyn Publications. p. 52. ISBN 978-0738713632 "One medium of the 1920s, Mina Crandon, became famous for producing ectoplasm during her sittings. At the height of the séance, she was even able to produce a tiny ectoplasmic hand from her navel, which waved about in the darkness. Her career ended when Harvard biologists were able to examine the tiny hand and found it to be nothing more than a carved piece of animal liver."
55. C. E. M. Hansel. (1989). The Search for Psychic Power: ESP and Parapsychology Revisited. Prometheus Books. p. 245. ISBN 978-0879755331
56. Joseph McCabe. (1920). Is Spiritualism based on Fraud?: The Evidence Given by Sir A.C. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. London: Watts & Co. p. 126
57. Malcolm Gaskill. (2001). Hellish Nell: Last of Britain's Witches. Fourth Estate. p. 100. ISBN 978-1841151090
58. Jason Karl. (2007). An Illustrated History of the Haunted World. New Holland Publishers. p. 79. ISBN 978-1845376871
59. Simeon Edmunds. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press. pp. 137-144.ISBN 978-0850300130
60. Paul Kurtz. (1985). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. p. 599. ISBN 0-87975-300-5
61. Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850–1914, 1988, p. 267
62. Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850–1914, 1988, p. 270
63. G. Baseden Butt, Madame Blavatsky, p. 120
64. Gerald Massey, Concerning Evolution, p. 55
65. Gerald Massey, Concerning evolution, pp. 60–61
66. Frank Podmore, Bob Gilbert, Modern spiritualism: a history and a criticism: Volume 2, 2001, pp. 135–136
67. Debora Hammond, The Science of Synthesis: Exploring the Social Implications of General Systems Theory, 2003, p. 39
68. Wallace, Alfred Russel. "World of Life". The Alfred Russel Wallace Page hosted by Western Kentucky University. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
69. Martin Fichman, An elusive Victorian: the evolution of Alfred Russel Wallace, 2004, p. 159
70. Edward Clodd, Question: A Brief History and Examination of Modern Spiritualism, p. 300
71. Peter J. Bowler, Science for all: the popularization of science in early twentieth-century, 2009, p. 44
72. Hess, David J. (June 15, 1993). Science In The New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders & Debunkers. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-299-13820-2.
73. "Enmore Spiritualist Church=".
74. Ray Hyman. (1985). A Critical Historical Overview of Parapsychology. In Paul Kurtz. A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. pp. 3-96. ISBN 0-87975-300-5
75. Rosemary Guiley. (1994). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits. Guinness Publishing. p. 311. ISBN 978-0851127484


• Albanese, Catherine L. (2007). A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion. New Haven/London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300136159.
• Brandon, Ruth (1983). The Spiritualists: The Passion for the Occult in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
• Braude, Ann (2001). Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21502-4.
• Britten, Emma Hardinge (1884). Nineteenth Century Miracles: Spirits and Their Work in Every Country of the Earth. New York: William Britten. ISBN 978-0-7661-6290-7.
• Brown, Slater (1970). The Heyday of Spiritualism. New York: Hawthorn Books.
• Buescher, John B. (2003). The Other Side of Salvation: Spiritualism and the Nineteenth-Century Religious Experience. Boston: Skinner House Books. ISBN 978-1-55896-448-8.
• Carroll, Bret E. (1997). Spiritualism in Antebellum America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-33315-5.
• Chapin, David. Exploring Other Worlds: Margaret Fox, Elisha Kent Kane, and the Antebellum Culture of Curiosity, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004.
• Davenport, Reuben Briggs (1888). The Death-Blow to Spiritualism. New York: G.W. Dillingham.
• Deveney, John Patrick; Franklin Rosemont (1996). Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3120-7.
• Doyle, Arthur Conan (1926). The History of Spiritualism, volume 1. New York: G.H. Doran. ISBN 978-1-4101-0243-0.
• Doyle, Arthur Conan (1926). The History of Spiritualism, volume 2. New York: G.H. Doran. ISBN 978-1-4101-0243-0.
• Fodor, Nandor (1934). An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science.
• Guthrie, John J. Jr.; Phillip Charles Lucas; Gary Monroe (2000). Cassadaga: the South's Oldest Spiritualist Community. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-1743-3.
• Harrison, W.H. 1880. Psychic Facts, a Selection from Various Authors. London: Ballantyne Press.
• Hess, David (1987). "Spiritism and Science in Brazil". Ph.D thesis, Dept. of Anthropology, Cornell University.
• Kardec, Allan, The Spirits' Book, Containing the Principles of Spiritist Doctrine... according to the Teachings of Spirits of High Degree, Transmitted through Various Mediums, Collected and Set in Order by Allan Kardec, translated by Anna Blackwell, São Paulo, Brasil, Federação Espírita Brasileira, 1996, ISBN 85-7328-022-0.
• Lindgren, Carl Edwin (January 1994). "Spiritualism: Innocent Beliefs to Scientific Curiosity". Journal of Religion and Psychical Research. 17 (1): 8–15. ISSN 2168-8621.
• Lindgren, Carl Edwin (March 1994). "Scientific investigation and Religious Uncertainty 1880–1900". Journal of Religion and Psychical Research. 17(2): 83–91. ISSN 2168-8621.
• Moore, William D. (1997). "'To Hold Communion with Nature and the Spirit-World:' New England's Spiritualist Camp Meetings, 1865–1910". In Annmarie Adams and Sally MacMurray (editors). Exploring Everyday Landscapes: Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, VII. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 978-0-87049-983-8.
• Natale, Simone (2016) Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0-271-07104-6.
• Podmore, Frank, Mediums of the 19th Century, 2 vols., University Books, 1963.
• Salter, William H., Zoar; or the Evidence of Psychical Research Concerning Survival, Sidgwick, 1961.
• Strube, Julian (2016). "Socialist Religion and the Emergence of Occultism: A Genealogical Approach to Socialism and Secularization in 19th-Century France." Religion. doi 10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926.
• Strube, Julian (2016). Sozialismus, Katholizisimus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-047810-5.
• Telegrams from the Dead (a PBS television documentary in the "American Experience" series, first aired October 19, 1994).
• Tokarzówna, Krystyna; Stanisław Fita (1969). Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: Kalendarz życia i twórczości (Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: a Calendar of [His] L ife and Work). Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.
• Weisberg, Barbara (2004). Talking to the Dead. San Francisco: Harper.
• Wicker, Christine (2004). Lily Dale: the True Story of the Town that talks to the Dead. San Francisco: Harper.

Further reading

• Clodd, Edward (1917). The Question: A Brief History and Examination of Modern Spiritualism. Grant Richards, London.
• Doyle, Arthur Conan (1975) The History of Spiritualism. Arno Press. New York. ISBN 9780405070259
• Hall, Trevor H. (1963). The Spiritualists: The Story of Florence Cook and William Crookes. Helix Press.
• Kurtz, Paul (1985). "Spiritualists, Mediums and Psychics: Some Evidence of Fraud". In Paul Kurtz (ed.). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. pp. 177–223. ISBN 0-87975-300-5.
• Lehman, Amy (2009). Victorian Women and the Theatre of Trance: Mediums, Spiritualists and Mesmerists in Performance. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3479-4.
• Mann, Walter (1919). The Follies and Frauds of Spiritualism. Rationalist Association. London: Watts & Co.
• McCabe, Joseph. (1920). Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud? The Evidence Given by Sir A. C. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. London: Watts & Co.
• Mercier, Charles Arthur (1917). Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge. London: Mental Culture Enterprise.
• Moreman, Christopher M. (2013). The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and around the World 3 Vols. Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-39947-3.
• Podmore, Frank (1911). The Newer Spiritualism. Henry Holt and Company.
• Price, Harry; Dingwall, Eric (1975). Revelations of a Spirit Medium. Arno Press. Reprint of 1891 edition by Charles F. Pidgeon. This rare, overlooked, and forgotten, book gives the "insider's knowledge" of 19th century deceptions.
• Richet, Charles (1924). Thirty Years of Psychical Research being a Treatise on Metaphysics. The Macmillan Company. New York. ISBN 0766142191.
• Rinn, Joseph (1950). Sixty Years Of Psychical Research: Houdini and I Among the Spiritualists. Truth Seeker.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Michio Kushi
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19



Michio Kushi

Michio Kushi (久司 道夫 Kushi Michio); born 17 May 1926 in Japan, died December 28, 2014, helped to introduce modern macrobiotics to the United States in the early 1950s. He lectured all over the world at conferences and seminars about philosophy, spiritual development, health, food, and diseases.


After World War II, Kushi studied in Japan with macrobiotic educator, George Ohsawa. Since coming to America in 1949, Michio Kushi and Aveline Kushi, his wife, founded Erewhon Natural Foods, the East West Journal, the East West Foundation, the Kushi Foundation, One Peaceful World, and the Kushi Institute. They had written over 70 books.

In 1974, several staff members of East West Journal left that pioneering publication, weary of following the demanding macrobiotic diet and set on publishing a general-interest magazine for Aquarian readers. In October of that year, they published the first issue of New Age Journal (now known simply as New Age), a newsprint magazine that has grown to a circulation of 35,000, with monthly issues of nearly a hundred pages.

Where EWJ saw the world through the lens of macrobiotic philosophy, NAJ threw open its pages to participants in the human potential movement -- a grab bag of psychologies, diets, spiritualism, physical therapies, and back-to-the-land lifestyles, all aimed at producing personal growth and well-being in the midst of a competitive, materialistic society. New Age Journal shared with East West Journal the concept of a magazine as a tool. Beginning with issue number one, NAJ provided readers with news they could use. That focus has sharpened over the years. A typical issue of New Age offers recipes, gardening tips, yoga instructions, news of conferences and spiritual retreats, plus photo-essays and book and record reviews, to go with in-depth feature stories on the New Age groundswell. New Age also pays a frequent attention to other alternative media efforts, publishing a regular column on independent film and video and running features on community radio. A regular section called "Tools for Living" lists organizations, publications, businesses, and other sources of information, complete with addresses, related to a variety of topics. And nearly all New Age articles, on whatever topic, end with a section on "access" that tells readers how to follow up on what they've just read about.

Peggy Taylor, who has edited New Age since its third month of existence, explained, "The magazine serves a networking function, putting people in touch with one another." She continued:

We always try to offer options for articles, for doing something about it. Our basic position is we all have a lot more participation in the world available to us than we are aware of, or that we use. And the reason we don't use it, most likely, is because we're not really aware of it.

The basic idea of the magazine is to empower people, to live more fully in the world, and take their high ideals -- about just being loving, caring people and wanting to see things work out on the planet -- and actually not just sit off in a closet somewhere and hope, but actually live it.

New Age projects a worldly mysticism that impels readers toward engagement and does not stop short of tweaking the noses of well-known spiritual leaders if it seems called for. At times, the magazine's desire to treat gurus like just plain folks shades over into cosmic gossip. A cover story in 1976 reported a split between Ram Dass and Joya -- two popular American teachers -- in loving detail, revolving around whether the two had broken their vows of celibacy with each other. "Look, I didn't fuck Ram Dass," reporter Stephen Diamond quoted Joya as saying, "but if I had, you'd better believe he'd stay fucked. My Sal -- that's my [presumably former] husband and lover of twenty years -- he tells me I'm the best in the world."

If New Age sometimes descends to earthly triviality, it more often clears the way for readers to become involved in whole-earth activism. New Age has covered the antinuclear movement since 1976, when eighteen activists peacefully occupied the construction site of a nuclear power plant at Seabrook, New Hampshire. Since then, the magazine has published frequent reports from Harvey Wasserman and opened its pages to strategy sessions for the likes of the Clamshell Alliance.

The June 1979 issue of New Age was devoted to discussing the future of the antinuclear movement, a growing groundswell that traces its philosophical roots to Gandhi and Thoreau and, more recently, to pacifists who opposed the Vietnam war. Feature articles by Wasserman and fellow Clamshell Alliance member Catherine Wolffe kept intact New Age's reputation for participatory journalism. Unlike sixties underground media, however, the rhetoric of imminent Armageddon was tempered by hope, and police and utility company officials were seen as unenlightened opponents rather than deadly enemies. An earlier cover story included a "demonstrator's guide" to antinuclear groups around the country and outlined plans for further demonstrations at Seabrook.....

[MISSING MATERIAL, pg. 284] ... popular issues on personal relationships, health, and money. While New Age has a broader scope than East West Journal, the staff lacks EWJ's grounding in a particular philosophy. As a result, New Age frequently flies off in pursuit of its staff's fancy of the moment. One of the subjects in which New Age has been keenly interested is money -- "prosperity consciousness," in Aquarian terminology.

Prosperity consciousness is the notion that commerce can serve as a vehicle for spiritual realization, that seekers who have long felt guilty about making money can "give themselves permission" to be rich, and that this is consistent with the Buddhist ideal of Right Livelihood. The Berkeley Monthly, for one, was founded and operated on this basis. The idea was proposed most enthusiastically in a New Age interview with Robert Schwartz, headlined "American Business Needs You," in 1976. Response to the interview was so favorable that Schwartz was asked to write a column for New Age, which he did.

Effused Schwartz: "I'm getting increasingly excited about the idea of the marketplace and the domain of business and entrepreneurship as valid places to explore our growing personal awareness." He went on to quote one Jim Nixon, "a Californian distantly related to ex-President Nixon," on the virtues of commerce: "Let me say first off that business, as a concept, has attracted too many attackers. It's currently popular to describe business as greedy and manipulative and overly competitive. In some cases, this is true; in other cases, not. I can find only one constant in all successful businesspeople. All successful businesspeople are businesslike -- and that is very Zen.' Wow."

Schwartz, a former consultant at Time, Inc., and a multimillionaire director of a school for executives in Tarrytown, New York, helped New Age accelerate and legitimize a desire in some Aquarian circles to make money. Through his column in New Age, Schwartz became a latter-day Dale Carnegie. He told eager readers that making money could make them better people, that they were all right to want to enjoy the material plane, and that their spiritual growth would proceed apace with the growth of their bank accounts.

New Age published other features on business-as-spirituality, including a special issue on Right Livelihood that further encouraged that trend. New Age endorsed the apparent contradiction of making money as a way of spiritual realization by emphasizing the degree of self-involvement business takes and divorcing the reality of acting in a commercial context from its consequences: the accumulation of material goods and the triumph of some individuals over other, evidently less [fortunate] ....


-- A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America, by David Armstrong

Kushi studied law and international relations at the University of Tokyo, and after coming to America, he continued his studies at Columbia University in New York City. Aveline preceded him in death (2001), as did their daughter (1995). Michio Kushi lived in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is survived by his second wife (Midori), four sons from his first marriage, and the resulting fourteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 88.[1][2]


• 1994 Kushi received the Award of Excellence from the United Nations Society of Writers.[3]
• 1999 Mentioned in the Congressional record in recognition of the dedication and hard work to educate the world about the benefits of a macrobiotic diet.[4]
• 1999 The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History opened a permanent collection on macrobiotics and alternative health care in his name. The title of the collection is the "Michio and Aveline Kushi Macrobiotics Collection." It is located in the Archives Center.

1999 The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History opened a permanent collection on macrobiotics and alternative health care in his name. The title of the collection is the "Michio and Aveline Kushi Macrobiotics Collection." It is located in the Archives Center.

Michio and his first wife Aveline were founders of The Kushi Institute, located in Becket, Massachusetts through 2016, but formerly in a converted factory building in Brookline Village, Massachusetts, adjacent to Mission Hill, Boston.

For their "extraordinary contribution to diet, health, and world peace, and for serving as powerful examples of conscious living", they were awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in Sherborn, Massachusetts, on October 14, 2000.[5]


Nutritionists have criticized Kushi's claim that a macrobiotic diet can cure cancer. Elizabeth Whelan and Frederick J. Stare have noted that:

Kushi's claim that cancer is largely due to his own versions of improper diet, thinking, and lifestyle is entirely without foundation. In his books, Kushi has recounted numerous case histories of persons whose cancer allegedly disappeared after following a macrobiotic diet. There are no available statistics on the outcome for all of these patients, but it is documented that at least some of them succumbed to their disease within a relatively short period. Reported testimonials of remission often uncovered the fact that the patients were also receiving conventional medical treatment at the same time.[6]


• 1976 Introduction to Oriental Diagnosis. Red Moon Publications. ISBN 9780906111000
• 1977 The book of Macrobiotics. Japan Publications ISBN 9780870403811
• 1979 The book of Do-In. Japan publications. ISBN 9780870403828
• 1979 Natural Healing Through Macrobiotics. Japan Publications; (December 1979) ISBN 9780870404573
• 1980 How to See Your Health: Book of Oriental Diagnosis. Japan Publications (USA) (December 1980) ISBN 9780870404672
• 1982 Cancer and heart disease : the macrobiotic approach to degenerative disorders Japan publications. ISBN 9780870405150
• 1983 Your Face Never Lies. Wayne; (May 1, 1983) ISBN 9780895292148
• 1983 Macrobiotic pregnancy and care of the newborn. Japan publications. ISBN 9780870405310
• 1983 The Cancer Prevention Diet. St Martin's Press. ISBN 9780722515402
• 1985 Macrobiotic diet. Japan publications. ISBN 9780870405358
• 1985 Diabetes and hypoglycaemia : a natural approach. Japan publications. ISBN 9780870406157
• 1986 Macrobiotic child care and family health. Japan publications. 1986. ISBN 9780870406126
• 1986 On the Greater View: Collected Thoughts and Ideas on Macrobiotics and Humanity. Wayne NJ. ISBN 9780895292698
• 1990 AIDS, Macrobiotics and Natural Immunity. Japan Publications. ISBN 978-0870406805
• 1990 The Gentle Art of Making Love. Avery Pub Group (May 1990) ISBN 9780895294357
• 1991 The macrobiotic approach to cancer. Garden City Park. ISBN 9780895294869
• 1991 Macrobiotics and Oriental medicine. Japan publications ISBN 9780870406591
• 1992 The gospel of peace : Jesus's teachings of eternal truth. Japan publications. ISBN 9780870407970[7]


1. New York Times obituary for Michio Kushi, January 4, 2015, access 1/5/2015
2. Lewin, Tamar (January 15, 2013), "Michio Kushi, Advocate of Natural Foods in the U.S., Dies at 88", The New York Times
4. ... le/E1138-1
5. The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Recipients List Archived 2009-02-14 at the Wayback Machine
6. Stare, Frederick J; Whelan, Elizabeth. (1998). Fad-Free Nutrition. Hunter House Publishers. p. 127. ISBN 0-89793-237-4
7. ... 8279563UI0)=creator&dum=true&tb=t&indx=1&vl(freeText0)=michio%20kushi&vid=BLVU1&fn=search

External links

• Smithsonian Institute's Michio and Aveline Kushi Macrobiotics Collection
• More information:
• A live Interview with Michio Kushi
• Kushi Institute in Massachusetts
• Letter from Michio: A message On behalf of Michio Kushi
• Kushi institute in Lisbon, Portugal
• Kushi Institute in Zagreb, Croatia
• Kushi Institute in Barcelona, Spain
• Kushi Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:01 pm

The Gnostic In Us All: Thinking From The Macrobiotics Of Michio Kushi
by Catherine L. Albanese (Keynote)
March 29, 2018



Abstract: Way back when in graduate school, I wrote a paper on the Gospel of Thomas, one of the documents discovered at Nag Hammadi in 1945. The debate over its gnosticizing elements was alive and well, and I weighed in with an argument that its thorough oblivion to history rendered it Gnostic—in the capital-“G” sense. Of course, there were other Gnostic elements cited then by scholars—such as Thomas’s turn within to a self on divinity’s edge and its enigmatic sayings with their salvific and mystical secret. Later, in 1976, I published the paper in an academic journal. That was the end of my Gnostic story.

Or so I thought. But in 1986, I began the practice of macrobiotics. As I studied the teachings of Michio Kushi, its foremost American teacher, I began to smell more than a whiff of religion. His wife, Aveline, had published a cookbook with the subtitle For Health, Harmony, and Peace. Michio Kushi himself, with longtime political interests in world government, elaborated on a cosmological spiral, with humans descending from a “unique principle” as it divided into yin and yang. Finding balance with yin and yang energies through diet and lifestyle would lead to alignment and peace. What lay ahead, if macrobiotic principles were followed, was “one peaceful world.”

Somewhere on the road to one peaceful world, Kushi discovered the Gospel of Thomas. He began to use it regularly, incorporating it into popular “spiritual” seminars.
I will leverage an account of the gnostic (here small-“g”) content of macrobiotics on Michio Kushi’s commentary on the Gospel of Thomas—The Gospel of Peace (1992)—and also on related works. My task will be to think through the gnosticism of brown rice and a peaceful world in terms of late twentieth-century American society and culture, to find the lines of connection, and to explore them as encrypted signs—in the twenty-first century still—of the gnostic in us all.

Catherine L. Albanese is J. F. Rowny Professor Emerita and Research Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With a Ph.D. in American religious history from the University of Chicago (Divinity School, 1972), she is former department chair at UCSB Religious Studies (2005-2010) and former president of the American Academy of Religion (1994). Her award-winning book, A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion, was published in 2007 (Yale). She is the author of numerous other books and articles, including America: Religions and Religion, now in its fifth edition (Cengage, 2013). In 2014, she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:29 am

Whole Living [New Age Journal]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19



Whole Living
Cover of Whole Living
Editor-in-chief Alexandra Postman
Categories health and lifestyle
Frequency Ten editions annually[1]
Total circulation
(June 2012) 760,606[2]
First issue As Whole Living since May 2010
As Body+Soul since 2002
As New Age Journal in 1974[3]
Final issue January 2013
Company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Country United States
Based in New York City[3]
Language English
ISSN 1098-447X
Cover from the October 2009 edition of Body + Soul, with Martha Stewart and her daughter, Alexis Stewart.

Whole Living was a health and lifestyle magazine geared towards "natural health, personal growth, and well-being,"[4] a concept the publishers refer to as "whole living." The magazine became a part of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in August 2004.[5]

The magazine was originally launched as the New Age Journal in 1974.[3] The magazine was first rebranded as Body+Soul beginning with an edition in early 2002. In 2004, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia acquired the magazine and other publishing assets from Thorne Communications. The magazine became Whole Living in May 2010.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has announced it intends to cease publication of Whole Living.[6] The final installment will be the January/February 2013 issue. A $2.5 million offer to buy the title from private equity firm OpenGate Capital fell through and no other buyers have appeared. The content from Whole Living will be included in Martha Stewart Living.

New Age Journal

New Age Journal, or New Age: The Journal for Holistic Living was an American periodical prominent in the late 20th century, and defining itself as covering topics related to the period's "New Age"; it has been succeeded, in turn, by Body & Soul. It described itself around the late 1990s as concerned with "achievement, commitment, health, creative living, and holistic nutrition".[7]

It was founded in 1974[8] by Peggy Taylor and other editors of East/West Journal,[9] and based in the Boston metropolitan area.

In 1994 it won an Alternative Press Award for General Excellence from the Utne Reader.[9]

Its publishing of work by Joseph Campbell, Ram Dass, Andrew Weil, Christiane Northrup, Deepak Chopra, and Cheryl Richardson is said to have come before they were respectively widely known.[8]


Under new editorship, it was "relaunched" in 2002 as the bi-monthly Body and Soul or Body & Soul.[8] In 2004, it was bought by Martha Stewart's Omnimedia, which as of 2009 publishes Body+Soul (presented on its cover as "whole living | body + soul") eight times per year. In 2010, the magazine was relaunched as Whole Living.

In 2000, Robert Scheer created the website New Age Journal, which states that "We are not affiliated with any magazines printed on paper."[10]


• David Thorne, head of owning companies from 1983 to 2004

Its editors included:

• Marc Barasch
• Jennifer L. Cook
• Jody Kolodzey
• Rex Weyler

Indexing information

• New Age Journal had ISSN 0746-3618 and OCLC 9978138 for issues from 1983 to 1998; published at the outset by Rising Star Associates (Brighton, MA).
• New Age Journal had ISSN 1098-447X and OCLC 38498642 for issues from 1998 to 2002; published by New Age Pub. (Watertown, MA).


1. Pettas, Joanna (November 29, 2007). "Body + Soul Ups Ratebase, Frequency for 2008". Foliomag. Retrieved November 25,2010.
2. "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. June 30, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
3. "Body + soul is leaving Watertown for New York". The Boston Globe. September 1, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
4. Body & Soul’s Reincarnation: A New CEO, A New Editor, And A New Look. Body & Soul.
5. Mandese, Joe (August 13, 2004). "MediaPost Publications Health Deals Designed To Help Martha Stewart Heal Thyself 08/13/2004". Mediapost. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
6. Hagley, Keach (December 6, 2012). "Martha Stewart to Shut Down 'Whole Living'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 11,2013.
7. New Age Journal,
8. Transcription of "After 28 years, New Age Journal changes its name to Body & Soul", Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, July, 2002, BNet Business Library.
9. New Age: The Journal for Holistic Living.
10. "About us",

External links

• Whole Living website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:11 am

Peggy Taylor: The True Story of a Shy Girl / Super Woman!
by Linda Wolf, Teen Talking Circles Muse
Posted on February 26, 2014




Peggy Taylor is someone I have been inspired by for over two decades. I first met Peggy when my eldest daughter, Heather, attended the Power of Hope camp. Since then, we have interconnected professionally and informally over the years. I was super jazzed that she was available to be interviewed this past week on Bainbridge Island, where she comes weekly to be with her grandson, Mateo. Peggy lives on Whidbey Island, with her husband, Dr. Rick Ingrasci, a master of ceremonies of the world’s best “better parties” and their two Havanese dogs, Chico and Loki.

Peggy Taylor is remarkable, flat out! She is one of the most down to earth people I know, while also being smack dab at the forefront of some of the most progressive, enlightened, and effective programs, projects, (and books) available to teens and adults today. Her belief that we are all creative, that it is our birthright to express ourselves artistically – no matter how “good” we think we are – is at the heart of everything she does. Her resume is astounding: Co-founder, publisher, and editor of New Age Journal; co-founder of Hollyhock Institute; co-author of Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life (which has sold over 250,000 copies); co-founder with Charlie Murphy of Power of Hope, brilliant summer camps for teens, and PYE: Partners for Youth Empowerment; and in 2010, co-founder with Jamie-Rose Edwards, a former Power of Hope Camper, of YWE: Young Women Empowered, a creative leadership program for teen girls in the greater Seattle area. On top of all this she is the founder and co-director of her community choir, the Open Circle Singers, where everyone is encouraged to sing their hearts out whether they can stay “in tune” or not! She’s also a devoted mother and grandmother, plays a mean game of Scrabble, and is just an all around warm, caring, and great human being! The following is our interview…


Linda Wolf: Peggy, I love your new handbook, written with Charlie Murphy, Catch the Fire: An Art-Full Guide to Unleashing the Creative Power of Youth, Adults and Communities. I know for myself, that we often do the work that heals us. I’d love to know what your own teen years were like?

Peggy Taylor: My teen years were very, very difficult. My mother died when I was fifteen and my father was an alcoholic, and remarried an alcoholic and then our house burned down. It was just one thing after the other. I lived in a kind of reign of terror. My father never actually hurt me, but the fear was always there. Consequently, I became very shy. I don’t think I was shy because I was naturally shy.

Linda: Were you very close with your mother?

Peggy: No, I wasn’t. I loved my mother, but I felt like I couldn’t really connect with her. She had a breast infection when I was born, and so I was separated from her for my first week of life. I think that got in the way of our bonding. Luckily, I had amazing grandmothers, and several other women who kind of adopted me along the way, and that made a huge difference in my life. But that all stopped when I got into my teenage years, except for my grandmothers.

L: What was your relationship like with other teen girls?

P: Very shy and insecure. I had friends, but I always felt like I was on the outskirts. I traveled between groups. One year I got elected to student council and couldn’t have been more surprised. But the thing that saved me was a camp I attended, Brown Ledge Camp, when I was about 12 or 13. I went for a couple of years. My mother was a real fan of Parent’s Magazine and there was an ad in it for a summer camp in Burlington, Vermont that was advertised as having ‘no extras.’ We didn’t have a lot of money, so no extras sounded great to her.




I don’t think she noticed the byline on the ad, which said, “Brown Ledge Camp: The Different Camp for Different Girls.” Brown Ledge was run by a former Broadway actress named Barbara Winslow. Most of the girls at the camp were from very liberal, intellectual families from New York City, which couldn’t have been farther from the lifestyle of my parents. It was like another world. There were only three rules: you had to be in your bunk during rest hour and at night, you had to be at meals, and you weren’t allowed to leave the premises. Other than that, you could just do anything you wanted, anytime you wanted. They had a merit system where you could earn badges. It was all choice-based learning.



Brown Ledge Campers, circa late 1950s / early 1960s

In school, I was the kind of student who could get a B+ just by showing up; I don’t remember doing a speck of homework my whole career. I’d bring my books home and wouldn’t touch them. I thought I lacked self-discipline, I was so down on myself. Then, I got to Brown Ledge, and I couldn’t learn enough. I just completely woke up. I realized there was nothing wrong with me, there was something wrong with my school system. I remember coming home to Gloversville from camp and my mother saying, “Oh, you’re so uppity, if you don’t change you’re never going back to that camp again.” What was happening to me was that I was feeling good about myself! And this is the response I got. But I had a completely new perspective! The value base of Brown Ledge Camp really shifted me.

L: Did you experiment with drugs and alcohol as a teen? It was the roaring 60s, after all!

P. No, I was very shy about all that. I bought a pack of Salem Cigarettes one day and smoked them while looking in the mirror, but never did it again! I was pretty straight and narrow. I didn’t drink, or smoke really. I never did drugs. I played the piano a lot! I used to love American Bandstand, the TV show, and would come home from school everyday and call my girlfriend and we’d watch American Bandstand. I was a senior in high school when the Beatles came out.

L. Did you write, draw, dance?

P. No, I played piano. Classical. I never did dance.

L: So, after high school, you went to college?

P: Yes, I went to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, where my mother had gone. I’d already gone to Syracuse University summer school and had a couple of fabulous professors and loved it. But I got to Skidmore and I found the view of the professors very limited. I was really looking for something more holistic and integrative, but I didn’t have the words for it. I dropped out after two years. I would have been the perfect student at a place like Antioch. I might have stayed in school if I’d gone there, but not Skidmore. After Skidmore, I never had much appreciation for higher learning institutions. I have a bit more now. Actually, when I worked at New Age Journal and someone came for an interview with me, my staff would jokingly say they’d stop them before they got to my office and have them erase any mention of having gone to college. Eventually, I did go back to college, Lesley College, but that was later.

My father had told me I’d never be able to hold down a job, and I believed him. My father thought I was a dilettante. He didn’t understand my interests. I was the odd one in the family. After dropping out of Skidmore, I fled to Boston, where I was introduced to a whole community of people involved with wanting to change the world from the bottom up. In Boston, I was introduced to Macrobiotics, and that community became like family.


I started the first Macrobiotic restaurant in Boston, which was very successful, then lived for a year in Japan, which is where the Macrobiotic movement started. Then, I moved to London and ran a Macrobiotic restaurant there. By that time, I’d met Eric (Utne), my future husband, and he came over to help me run the restaurant.

After Eric and I got married we moved to Minneapolis and I had my son, Leif, in 1972. I was 25. Minneapolis was very hard for me. I didn’t like living there at all. In Minneapolis, I was too much of a hippie for the straight people, and too straight for the hippies. Plus, I’m a mission driven person…

L: What do you mean mission driven?

P: I just wanted to change the world. I’d always had that drive, but I didn’t have words for it when I was younger. In the Macrobiotic community I found people all charged up about changing the world.
I realize now, in retrospect, that there were plenty of issues going on in the Macrobiotic community – spousal abuse and all kinds of things that I just didn’t see. But, to me, it was a wonderful community of people who were trying to make a better world. It was there I learned that I could actually have a strong community of friends, which I didn’t know before. Finally, Eric and I moved from Minneapolis back to Boston where Eric started working for East West Journal. Soon after we started New Age Journal with a bunch of other staffers of East West, but 3 months into it, we realized it wasn’t going to support us all. Finally, it was just Eric, another woman and myself running it.

L: Soon after you and Eric divorced, and later you met your current husband, Dr. Rick Ingrasci, and together you were part of co-founding Hollyhock Institute on Cortes Island, in British Columbia, right? How did that happen?

P: While I was working at New Age Journal, Rex Weyler, who I’d met at the Rocky Mountain Healing Art’s Festival, came out to Boston from Vancouver to help me with the Journal. At that time he worked with The Greenpeace Chronicles. He had found the abandoned Cold Mountain Institute up on Cortes, which was a former learning center known for Gestalt therapy practices. We joined him and a large group of friends to buy it at a discounted rate.

Description: Correspondence, reports, meeting materials, notes, lists, memoranda, printed matter, and photographs, relating to nongovernmental exchange programs between Americans and citizens of the Soviet Union and its successor republics, and to promotion of Gestalt psychology, environmentalism, nuclear safety and alternative energy sources in the Soviet Union and its successor republics.

-- Survey of the Francis Underhill Macy papers, by Online Archive of California

Around that time, I’d gotten completely burned out running the magazine. I had always felt that unless I was doing something that mattered, I didn’t deserve to be walking the Earth so I always worked very hard. We were just starting Hollyhock, and I was up there for a month with Rick and Leif. I remember there was another woman up there who was also burned out, and the two of us hung out in the lodge and played Mozart duets for hours and hours every day. Playing these duets, I started feeling, “Wow, just playing this music, just creating beauty is reason enough to stay alive.” So, I found my way out of the magazine and started learning Dalcroze [url=x]Eurhythmics[/url], a kinesthetic approach to learning and teaching music at Longy School of Music. I then entered a joint masters program between Longy and Lesley College and got a degree in creative arts and learning. At Lesley College, I came to the realization that the arts was my way to heal. I found the arts extremely liberating. I thought, “Who needs therapy, just do art, in the right context.”

After I got my degree, I’d wanted to do creativity training for small nonprofits. But I didn’t feel strong enough to do it alone. Coming from my family I had developed quite a damaged sense of self-confidence. So I began looking for a work partner. We were living on Whidbey Island then; I was in my late 40s, and no partner was showing up. I began to wonder if maybe I was done living a passion drive life. “Maybe, I should just go to work at the local drugstore and learn to live a quiet life.” And then, an old friend, Joanna Macy, called one night. She was on Whidbey leading the Deep Ecology Summer School, and she wanted me to come over to meet someone named Charlie Murphy. So, I went over and listened to Charlie as he was giving a presentation on the work he was doing using poetry, music, and recording with kids in New Haven, Connecticut. As I sat and listened I thought, “OMG, here he is — this guy is my partner,” but, I had no idea how to tell him. It was so out of the box. I hadn’t done any youth work; he’d had done lots of it. So, I just left and didn’t even introduce myself to him.

Back home, I told my husband Rick and he said, “Call him up and tell him.” I’m like, “What am I going to tell him.” It didn’t make sense! So, I just sat on it and waited. This was the summer of 1995. I knew he was going to be my partner, but I had no idea how it would happen. I was still working as the editor of New Age Journal at that time, and we were about to collaborate with Hollyhock on a big conference in Seattle, The Body and Soul Conference. We decided we wanted conference weavers for the beginnings of all the talks in the hotel conference rooms, so, I invited Charlie to be a conference weaver and to have his band (Rumors of the Big Wave) play. Also, I asked him if he would be on a panel with me, on creativity and social change. And he said, “Oh sure.” Poor guy, he was so unsuspecting. He had no idea I was absolutely sure we were going to be partners!!! and I’m kind of like weaving the web, but I still had no idea how it would happen! At the end of the conference, Charlie told us he was running a gathering for kids that summer called Power of Hope. And I thought, “BINGO!” I figured he was going to need help, so I volunteered to help out, and by the turn of that year, we were partners, working together.

Charlie & Peggy

L: That must have been quite a conference. Plus Charlie’s band was so great! So you never told him all that time that you knew he was going to be your partner? You just held it in and just kept showing up to help him? That’s a lot of faith and patience, or full out shyness!

P: Yeah! He was working at the Y at the time, so I started going and working with him. I’d never worked with kids. I’d worked with adults, and I was still completely stage shy at that point. I remember in the early days when we had just gotten Power of Hope (POH) started, around 1997, I’d tell Charlie, “I really want to lead such and such,” but when the time came, I’d say, “No, I can’t do it.” And he’d get so mad at me, he’d say, “But you said you wanted to do it.” I’d tell him, “You have no idea what it’s like inside me.” I was just so shy. But, the work was changing me. It was really through leading Power of Hope adult trainings, and forcing myself to go to Hip Hop workshops and Free Styling sessions at POH Camp, that my shyness eventually went away. And it hasn’t come back!

When we started Power of Hope, I felt like I was facing a major soul challenge. I felt compelled to step out of the shell that had grown up around me because of my upbringing and acculturation. Sometimes I say I started this whole organization for my own personal growth. But, this is why I think the work is so relevant for a lot of the youth and for a lot of adults in our trainings. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me in disbelief when I say in trainings that I used to be terribly shy and that I’ve been able to step out of it. They want to know how to do that as well. And what I began to notice with Power of Hope was that many of the kids would arrive very shy and significantly decrease their shyness within the week and that shyness wouldn’t come back. They would actually shed it. The next year when they’d come back to camp, it was still gone!


Power of Hope Counselors & Friends

To me, I see this transformation from shyness as a needed element of social change. If people are afraid, especially women are afraid of being seen and heard, how can we become fully engaged citizens? Sometimes I call Power of Hope “the anti-shy camp.” Kids come and get positive feedback for taking risks and they step right out of their shells.

L: I’d like to deconstruct that word shy. In my sense of it, shy is kind of a protective layer over low self-esteem, or feeling ashamed, or not good enough or just not enough.

P. Some people can be very outgoing and still have low self-esteem. I think of shyness as more of a kind of skittishness. More fight or flight based. It’s very fear driven, and yes, of course, low-self esteem is all tied into it.

L: The fear of what?

P: Stepping up and being seen — being judged that something’s wrong with you and you’ll be exposed for who you are.

L: And ostracized.

P: Yeah and ridiculed, so why even try. I’ve come to believe that this yearning to become more fully present exists in all of us. I feel like we’re all part of a cultural trance and most of us have a powerful yearning to step fully onto the stage, so to speak, not in the sense of an actor playing a part, but the stage of our own life. When you do that and you receive a welcome response, I think it gets into your cells very quickly. It really is transformational.


When young people are initiated in a supportive community by taking a creative risk, making themselves heard and receiving acceptance, they’re never the same again. We see this happen in our work all over the world. The need to be seen and recognized and heard goes beyond culture. It’s a basic human need. I don’t think people recognize the powerful transformation that comes with the simple act of expressing oneself creatively and being acknowledged. That’s why I get so fired up about it. It’s not rocket science. It’s very basic and very simple but somehow has not been clearly recognized in education and youth work.

L: I know. We see it all the time in Teen Talking Circles, this powerful transformation in young people and adults when they feel seen and loved for who they are no matter what they’re going through.

P: From the beginning of our POH camps, we’ve had talking circles every night. We have something called “family groups” and use a talking object. That’s always been a part of what we do. Verbal expression. In your work, Linda, all the safety you create in circle for sharing feelings and self-expression is just another way to get there. My fire is really about what happens when you add the creative/expressive element into even a talking circle. As soon as you begin to express through the arts, the right brain gets active. Whether you begin with metaphor, creative writing, drawing, or a theater game, something deeper happens. One of our coded ideas is, “The arts are the doorway to the inner life, the life of the soul.” As soon as you bring creative expression in, a door opens and everybody moves into a deeper place.


A lot of adult groups start their programs or meetings with a moment of silence. I say, “Why not mix it up and start with a quick theater game!” Silence is lovely and silence is nice sometimes, but when you play a theater game, you activate the imagination and people come alive. Or you can ask people in the circle to come up with a metaphor that represents their life right now and share that along with their name. When people take a creative risk, big or small, the right brain gets activated, aliveness starts pumping through the group and the conversation quickly moves from the head to heart and head.

L: So true, which is why we have in our TTC handbook so many POH exercises as ice breakers. They really shift the connection between people, lower the fear level and bring up the energy level quickly.

So, what’s next for you, Peggy, now that you’ve come out with the book? It’s such an achievement and such a gift to all of us working with teens and adults.

Peggy & Mateo

P: As far as work, I really want to turn Catch the Fire into an enhanced E-book so there are short videos to demonstrate all of the activities. We’re also developing a four-part in-depth facilitation training—similar to our Heart of Facilitation training—that we can offer in other parts of the world. Nadia Chaney and I are going to be doing a four-part training in London this year. But quite frankly, I try to work half time now so I can spend two days a week with my grandson Mateo and follow my own creative interests. I’m fascinated with personal storytelling, and have been taking workshops with a woman named Ann Randolph, who does a one woman show. She’s amazing. She leads a workshop called Writing your Life for the Page and the Stage ( The art of personal story telling is emerging as a performance art, the same way poetry did through poetry slams. Getting my stories on stage is the next step for me.

I no longer have the same desire to work full-out, building organizations to make change anymore. I lost my empire building juice at about 60. You can understand, right!

L: Yes, absolutely. I also feel something even more self-expressive is emerging in me.

P: What do you think it is for you?

L: I’m not sure. I’m taking a sabbatical this year. I was a child actress, so maybe I’ll go back to doing some kind performance work. I’m also interested in theater improv and the idea of story telling is such a magnet. I’ll have to look into the workshop Ann is offering. Photography is always still a great passion. I’d like to do some photography workshops/retreats, incorporating circle, and of course I’ll still keep leading our Teen Talking Circle Facilitator trainings. We have one coming up in June. I love leading the Women’s Circle Retreats in Mexico and this year, my daughter, Heather will be co-leading the circle with me, along with Kellie Elliott, who will be leading 5Rhythms. I’m enjoying taking the time off to just play piano and ping-pong, read, cook, and hang out with the family and friends without so much stress! Letting my left brain have a rest! That said, who knows! I’m playing it much more by ear these days… One thing I’ve really committed to is not engaging myself in what I don’t really want to be doing anymore.

Thank you so much for talking with me, Peggy. I’m so grateful for our friendship and this has been fabulous, getting to know you better.

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